Aging Right @ Home is a monthly blog series, answering your questions on providing care for individuals with disabilities, loved ones with dementia and older adults aging in place. If you have a question, please submit it to [email protected].
Some changes in our sleep patterns are perfectly normal as we grow older. Aging adults tend to go to sleep earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning. Also, research shows that older adults may actually need less sleep than they did in their younger years.
However, not all sleep changes seniors experience is normal. Incontinence, pain from arthritis, digestive problems and mediation side effects can all affect sleep. To help spot some issues that may need to be addressed by a doctor, here are some common conditions that a sleep specialist could help identify and address:
Sleep Apnea in Seniors
This condition causes a sleeper to stop breathing for short periods — from a few seconds to even minutes and often repeatedly throughout the night. Sleep apnea may be accompanied by loud snoring, although not always. For seniors, this can not only disrupt sleep, but it could also cause a dangerous drop in oxygen levels. A sleep specialist can help prescribe a breathing support device (such as a CPAP), a special mouthpiece or, in extreme cases, recommend surgery.
Dementia and Sleep
The brain changes of Alzheimer’s and related disorders can greatly disrupt a senior’s sleep patterns. Some people with dementia may sleep too much, while others have issues sleeping much at all. The disease disrupts the body’s natural 24-hour sleep/wake cycle, sometimes leaving a seniors’ sense of day and night reversed or fragmented. Dementia care experts can offer suggestions to improve sleep, many often as easy as behavioral routine changes.
Secondhand Sleep Problems
When a person has a sleep disorder, this can not only affect them, but it can also affect others in the home. The sleep of family caregivers is often regularly disrupted from waking to support their loved one to the bathroom or handle other middle-of-the-night needs. This is particularly the case when caring for loved ones with dementia who may experience “sundown syndrome,” where those with dementia become restless and agitated in the late afternoon and early morning during a caregivers’ core time of rest. Studies show that sleep problems are actually the No. 1 contributing factor when families decide a person with dementia should be placed in a professional care setting.
Home care can help. Professional in-home care services promote good sleep and all-around health for older adults who live at home, and trained caregivers can provide supervision while family caregivers sleep.
Here at Right at Home, our care experts work with families to support the needs of seniors and loved ones alike. Contact me today if you’d like a care consultation or if I’m able to provide any other assistance to you and your family.
Your neighbor, and Owner/President of Right at Home of Northern Virginia,
Phillip Turner, CDP, CSA
Take a tour of the Courthouse neighborhood and explore two local favorites of Sallie Seiy, your guide in the latest Neighborhood Spotlight.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
The Arlington County Board and the Human Rights Commission are at odds over whether commissioners had the right to request an investigation into possible human and civil rights violations at…
Expanded renovated 4 BR 3 bath with garage in Cardinal Swanson Yorktown pyramid
The Potomac Roasting Company is a local micro-roaster specializing in artisan coffee. We precision roast high-quality specialty beans sourced from small farms in Latin America that are owned and operated by women. Your coffee will be roasted the way you want it and delivered fresh.
As two former Peace Corps volunteers who served in Guatemala, we founded Potomac Roasting to pursue our passion for great coffee and purpose-driven work. In addition to ethically sourcing our beans, we also donate a portion of our profits to Laila’s Legacy Animal Rescue, a DC-based nonprofit that finds homes for homeless dogs and cats.
Our current roasts come from prime coffee-producing regions of Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. We will be adding new roasts soon. If you are local, there’s a good chance we can deliver to your door. Look for us at local farmers’ markets beginning this spring. In the meantime, check us out now for better coffee and good karma in a cup. You can use the code Community and save 10%.
🎉 Tonight, we invite you to the French Riviera, one of the most exciting places on earth – without ever boarding a plane! And celebrate Mardi Gras and the Carnival of Nice on French soil as we welcome you to a special evening at the Embassy of France!
From the elegance of classical French culture to the most celebrated Rivera nightlife of the 21st Century, experience a special evening of fantastic French food, wine, music, and ambiance.
Enjoy the flavors of Nice, Monaco, and St. Tropez in the beautiful and festive Maison Francaise at the French Embassy.
🍽️ On the Menu: Delicious French food
Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting a free workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” at their office on Cherry Hill Rd. (formerly Lee Highway) in Arlington on Thursday, February 29 from 5:30PM-7:00PM.
Every great endeavor