There are very few human behaviors that aren’t affected by Alzheimer’s, making it an extremely difficult disease for everyone involved. Understanding that the patterns aren’t entirely erratic can shed some light on better ways to handle the problems. For those providing home care for seniors these tips can encourage better decision making and planning skills. For simplification purposes, the information covered here will explore the sleeping habits in Alzheimer’s patients and what home health services can focus on to mitigate the severity.
Alzhiemer’s Patients Sleeping Schedule
Everyone’s sleeping schedule will change as they age, however in Alzheimer’s patients the changes are particularly drastic. It can cause immeasurable stress to the afflicted because rest is the body’s opportunity to rejuvenate itself. No amount of sedation can match the recuperative power of natural sleep, and those in care services know the difference it can make. However, when someone who is already confused during general day-to-day activities wakes up and is unable to understand where they are, it can cause a true panic that results in a lot of difficult nights. Seniors home care workers may also see more napping during the day, or drastic memory symptoms during the transitions between light and dark. This phenomena is called sundowning, and it can be exceptionally scary because the change in the person affected may be overly aggressive or even violent. In rare cases, an elderly person may begin sleeping entirely during the day and staying awake at night. Lack of sleep or irregular patterns affect both mental and physical health, so it’s worth understanding what can be done to help for a senior in home care.
Create a Comfortable Setting to Sleep
In a home health service, setting regular schedules for all events during the day (from breakfast to an afternoon walk) can be beneficial. The Alzheimer’s patient should at least begin to get ready for bed at the same time every single day. The theory here is that while the person may not be tired, it sets their brain up to become prepared for sleep. However, it should be noted that if they shouldn’t spend too long in bed trying to fall asleep as the bed should be associated with sleep only for home senior care. The room should be as comfortable as possible, with nightlights to decrease anxiety. Keep the room cool and quiet place where they can close their eyes. This can trigger better sleeping patterns for in home health care. Caregivers should be getting their charges into the sun as much as possible in the morning while encouraging exercise during the day and discouraging alcohol or nicotine. Medications with caffeine or stimulants need to be given during the day. Screens (TV, computer, phone) should be avoided at all costs as least a half hour before bed for senior home health.
Medication as a Last Resort
If all else fails, then medication is available to keep a more regulated schedule. For home care seniors, it’s pivotal that the risks and benefits are thoroughly researched so there’s no chance of a preventable harmful reaction to the medication. Unfortunately, medication is a necessary last resort to bring peace to both parties in aged care services. Knowing the basics of sleep care can help empower those in care services to try the natural remedies for better mind/body care.
Select Home Care in Westlake Village is a leader in offering premier 24 hour care, hospice care, dementia home care, and companionship cares for seniors. Trusted by healthcare professionals, Select Home Care serves a vital role in helping people live more independent lives outside of institutions and keeping them closer to their families. For more information on tips on regulating sleeping patterns for seniors or about Select Home Care’s senior care services please call 800-993-1657 or visit selecthomecare.com.