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Is your Elder Getting High Quality Sleep?

One of the common misconceptions about seniors is that they require less sleep than other adults do. However, according to WebMD, the amount of sleep humans need stays the same from age 20 on (between seven and nine hours of sleep per night). However, sleep quality can often degrade with age, and without treating it, elders may be aggravating other medical issues.

Homecare Windsor CA - Is your Elder Getting High Quality Sleep?

Homecare Windsor CA – Is your Elder Getting High Quality Sleep?

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea occurs when people start and stop breathing during the night. This halting breath can disrupt sleep and put a strain on the heart, according to the Mayo Clinic. Reduced quality of sleep may lead to drowsiness during the day, difficulty focusing, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep and a feeling of restlessness. Luckily sleep apnea is treatable when diagnosed. A CPAP machine can help regulate breathing and help elders get a full night of sleep.

Insomnia

Insomnia has many causes, and effective care means diagnosing and treating those causes. Insomnia can be the result of too much caffeine, increased anxiety, a side effect of medication or a reaction to a change in schedule or routine. Too much sleep during the day can also reduce sleep quality at night.

It’s important to find the cause of insomnia rather than treating it with medication. As a caregiver, you can talk to a doctor to identify what medications may be causing difficulty sleeping, reduce your elder’s caffeine intake by drinking white tea or switching to decaf coffee and talking through emotional concerns that may be causing anxiety. Issues may not resolve immediately, but discussing them can help provide a path forward to resolving insomnia.

Environmental factors

Seniors are very sensitive to changes in routine, and if something around the home has changed, it can affect sleep. Look into adding blackout curtains to keep the bedroom cool and reduce the amount of light from streetlights or beds. Cell phones and tablets have daylight filters that reduce blue light frequencies that electronics emit. The brain interprets this blue light as daylight, so if devices are used, they can disrupt the circadian rhythm.

Mattresses should be changed every eight year or so as they start to sag and if no mattress protector is on, they can be full of dander. Mattress preferences also change, so your elder may want a softer or firmer mattress to accommodate different physical needs. Sheets that stay cool can also help improve a night’s sleep.

Activity

Inactive seniors may find it harder to fall asleep at night since they are not physically exerted. Light exercise approved by a doctor can help them feel tired enough to fall asleep. Additionally, mental activity such as puzzles, games, trivia or reading can help alleviate boredom and let seniors fall asleep easily.

Poor-quality sleep can ruin a day and make your senior unhappy. By discussing problems sleeping, you can ensure their quality of life is constant and restful.

Sources:  https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/insomnia-symptoms-and-causes
https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/do-seniors-need-less-sleep#1
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Homecare Services in Windsor CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.