Sleep apnea can seriously interfere with your senior’s sleeping and with her breathing. If you’re noticing some of these signs or your senior is mentioning them to you, it’s time to talk to her doctor.
Your Senior Is Really Tired During the Day
Daytime sleepiness can happen if your elderly family member isn’t sleeping well, so that alone might not be a sign of sleep apnea. But if she’s experiencing sleepiness during the day, she may have some of the other signs that do indicate sleep apnea. This symptom can be a clue to keep looking for other issues.
Your Senior Has Trouble with Concentration
If your elderly family member is having extra trouble concentrating, even on activities that she enjoys, it might be tied to her sleep issues. When your senior sleeps, that’s when her brain and her body recharge and process information. If her brain doesn’t get the chance to do that, she might have trouble the next day with thought processes.
Her Sleep Is Interrupted
Your senior might also let you know that she’s having trouble with her sleep in terms of it getting interrupted. She might have a tough time getting to sleep or even in staying asleep. She might also describe more instances where she suddenly jolts awake. With apnea, that’s often when people stop breathing and get startled awake.
She Snores When She Sleeps
A big indicator of apnea is snoring during sleep. Your senior might never have snored before, but if she is now, it might mean that she’s developed sleep apnea. For some people, the snoring can be so loud that they actually wake themselves up with it, which can be another reason that she’s experiencing interrupted sleep on a regular basis.
She’s Experiencing Symptoms in the Morning
Morning symptoms can also be a good clue. If your elderly family member is sleeping with her mouth open a lot, especially when she’s snoring, she might have a dry mouth or a dry throat. Some people with apnea also describe morning headaches that eventually stop.
Some of these symptoms might be tough for you to spot if you don’t live with your senior or if you don’t see her all day to notice what’s happening. This is where elder care providers can help you to notice things like daytime sleepiness, which can prompt you to ask questions of your senior and get her some help.