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Overcoming Sleep Issues with Alzheimer’s

By Erik Gans, 8:00 am on

Many seniors have trouble falling or staying asleep, however changes in the body that result from Alzheimer’s can make getting a full night’s rest even more difficult. As the disease progresses, seniors with Alzheimer’s will find that sleep is almost inexistent; something that can worsen symptoms of the disease and cause irritability, extreme mood swings and changes in behavior.

If you care for an aging parent or loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s and you are concerned about the amount of sleep they’re getting each night, read on and explore some of the simplest ways to overcome sleep issues associated with Alzheimer’s. Assisting your loved one with these activities can help to promote a higher quality of life at home.

  1. Encourage Daily Activity – The inability to sleep at night can cause seniors to take long naps in the day, creating a vicious cycle of poor sleep habits. Keeping your loved one active during the day can help to counteract this problem. Activities don’t have to be strenuous, and can include anything from a walk around the block to playing a game of cards in the late afternoon. This helps to eliminate long periods of time where they may feel inclined to doze off.
  2. Limit Beverages at Night – While it’s important for your loved one to stay hydrated, especially if he or she is taking a number of medications to manage Alzheimer’s symptoms, it’s important to limit beverages at night. This will help minimize the use of the restroom once asleep. Caffeinated beverages such as soda should also be eliminated from the evening routine.
  3. Create a Calming Environment – Dim the lights in your loved one’s room before they are about to go to bed to help to promote a calming mood. Make sure your loved one’s room is at a comfortable temperature, as Alzheimer’s can often affect a senior’s sensitivity to heat or cold. Along with this, it’s also important to keep their surroundings as quiet as possible once they go to bed, for sometimes the slightest noises will keep them awake for hours.
  4. Seek Medical Help – If making changes to your loved one’s schedule and environment fail, a doctor may be able to recommend and prescribe certain medications to help with sedation and promote sleep at night. These can include Haldol, Risperdal, Desyrel and Lorazapam. Your loved one’s doctor may also be able to recommend certain activities for your loved one’s specific symptoms or sleep issues.

With the right education and support, it is very possible to help your loved one with Alzheimer’s establish a sleep routine that will let allow them to enjoy a good night’s sleep. If you are unable to provide around-the-clock support to your loved one, consider in-home care. With the help of a professional and highly trained Alzheimer’s caregivers in Fairfield, you can ensure that your loved one remains active and engaged during the day, and receives assistance with their nightly routine to ensure safety.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s home care for seniors, request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with Home Care Assistance of Fairfield. We are a trusted provider of Alzheimer’s care with highly trained caregivers and unique memory care programs, designed for seniors of all cognition levels. Reach out to us today by calling 203-955-1915 today.