6 Strategies for Addressing Sleep Problems Related to Alzheimer’s

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Sleep is essential to emotional and physical health in the senior years, and without it, the body could shut down. As a family caregiver, you need to help your aging loved one with Alzheimer’s develop good sleeping habits that prevent tossing and turning throughout the night so his or her brain can remove dangerous toxins and proteins. Below are some common Alzheimer’s-related sleep problems older adults may encounter and tips for addressing each issue.

1. Keep a Consistent Sleep-Wake Cycle

The internal body clock is often damaged due to the effects of Alzheimer’s, making it difficult to distinguish between night hours and daytime. You can handle this problem by keeping your loved one on an active schedule. The consistency could calm your parent, especially at night. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Cedar Falls Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

2. Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the worst things for seniors living with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Foods such as chocolate, ice cream, pudding, and some breakfast cereals often contain caffeine. Your loved one should avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine or limit his or her daily intake. Caffeine is an addictive stimulant that disrupts sleep and increases the odds of behavioral problems.

3. Manage Communication Challenges

Communication is challenging for many seniors with Alzheimer’s because the disease leads to muscle weakness, which could affect the muscles in the mouth and throat. Some voice problems are mild, while others are more severe and prevent seniors from speaking. If your parent is unable to communicate feelings of discomfort, it could reduce his or her odds of getting a good night’s rest. Always check your loved one’s comfort levels before bedtime, which may include adjusting the cooling system, turning off a night-light, or adding more pillows to the bed. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading homecare services provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

4. Handle Hallucinations

Complex changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s can make seniors hear, see, or smell things that aren’t there. These delusions could keep your loved one up at night and lead to poor sleep quality. To handle the hallucinations, go to your loved one’s room and offer reassurance and understanding. The objective is to keep your loved one calm so he or she can sleep for the remainder of the night.

5. Ask the Doctor about Medications

The prescriptions your parent takes to reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms such as combativeness, poor memory, and cognitive decline could cause sleep disturbances. Speak with a doctor if your parent continues to have difficulty sleeping throughout the night. The physician could prescribe alternative medicines or recommend therapy.

6. Discourage Taking Too Many Naps

Older adults with Alzheimer’s often crave sleep during the day, making it difficult to get adequate rest at night. You can reduce the number of naps your loved one takes each day by promoting stimulating exercises and activities that keep him or her awake and active. However, your loved one should avoid stimulating activities close to bedtime because they could leave him or her too energized to rest.  If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Cedar Falls seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 319-260-2222 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services. 

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