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5 Ways to Help Your Senior Parent Get Better Sleep

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Restful sleep can be elusive for many seniors. Factors that can inhibit restorative sleep may include medication side effects, poor health, and chronic pain. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help your elderly loved one sleep better so he or she can feel more energized upon awakening.

1. Encourage Getting Some Fresh Air

Encourage your parent to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine every day. The combination of fresh air and sun exposure promotes deep sleep, and absorbing sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, an essential hormone. It’s thought that vitamin D plays an important role in recuperative sleep, and when people are deficient in vitamin D, insomnia and nighttime restlessness may occur. 

For seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to get out of the house on their own, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful asset. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care. Wellesley Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Serve Herbal Tea Before Bed

A cup of warm herbal tea before bedtime may lull your loved one into a peaceful sleep. Before serving the tea, double-check the product to make sure the tea is indeed herbal. Regular tea contains caffeine in amounts that may cause sleeplessness and anxiety. Chamomile tea is a good choice for inducing sleep. However, before offering herbal teas to your loved one, check with his or her physician. Certain herbal remedies and teas can interact with prescription medications and even cause serious side effects when taken with cardiovascular or blood pressure medications.

3. Monitor Room Temperature

If your loved one’s bedroom is either too cold or too hot, he or she may be unable to sleep well. While monitoring room temperature is important, it’s of further importance to make sure the bed isn’t positioned near an air conditioning or heating vent where cold or hot air can blow directly on your loved one. Being too close to an air conditioner or heater may inhibit sleep and also make your loved one sick. In addition to adjusting room temperature, make sure your loved one’s pajamas are made from loose-fitting, breathable fabrics that are soft to the touch so they don’t irritate the skin.

4. Provide Reassurance

Sometimes fear, anxiety, and depression prevent seniors from falling asleep. If your loved one says he or she is afraid, sad, or anxious, provide reassurance and allow him or her to share these feelings. If needed, stay in the room until your parent falls asleep, because being left alone may be what he or she is afraid of most. If anxiety or feelings of fear persist, a physician can examine your loved one and, if warranted, refer him or her to a mental health specialist.

Seniors with anxiety or depression may get a great sense of comfort from having a professional caregiver close by through the night. For many seniors in Wellesley, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

5. Ask About Pain

Chronic pain can prevent sleep while aggravating other existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure. If your loved one complains of pain, remind him or her to take pain medications, offer a heating pad or ice pack, and help him or her change into a more comfortable position. If your loved one is unable to make his or her needs known because of cognitive deficits or a stroke, watch for signs that may indicate the presence of pain, including grimacing, moaning, crying, or pointing to the body part that hurts. 

These strategies can help your loved one sleep better, which can enhance his or her overall wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Wellesley, MA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (781) 239-0060 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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