How to Manage Insomnia in Seniors

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Sleep disorders become more common as people age. It’s important that the cause of the insomnia be determined so an effective treatment plan can be implemented as soon as possible. Here are some things you can do to treat insomnia in your senior loved one.

Encourage Exercise

Aging adults often lead sedentary lifestyles. When they don’t get enough exercise, they may be unable to sleep at night. Encourage your loved to exercise daily, even if it means just taking a leisurely short stroll after dinner. Exercising promotes feelings of wellbeing and drowsiness so your loved one can fall asleep easily. It’s important that your loved one finish exercising at least a few hours before bedtime. Exercising too close to bedtime may cause overstimulation and insomnia.

Professional caregivers can be a great help to seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to exercise safely on their own. 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. Waterloo, IA, Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Draw a Warm Bath

A warm bath or shower can promote peaceful slumber. Bathing a few hours before bed lowers the core body temperature, which can help your loved one drift off to sleep and stay asleep. Like exercise, a warm bath or shower should be taken a few hours before going to bed because if the water is too hot, the body temperature will rise, preventing a restful sleep pattern.

Serve Magnesium-Rich Foods

Foods rich in magnesium such as bananas and walnuts can treat insomnia in aging adults. Magnesium is sometimes referred to as “nature’s beta blocker” because it regulates and slows a fast heart rate. Drinking a banana smoothie or eating a peanut butter sandwich early in the evening can help your loved one relax and get drowsy so that when bedtime arrives, he or she enjoys a deep sleep. Magnesium-rich foods can also prevent waking up frequently during the night. Make sure your loved one doesn’t eat too close to bedtime because the digestion process may prevent drowsiness.

For seniors with health conditions that make it difficult to plan and prepare nutritious meals, professional caregivers can be a tremendous asset. For many seniors in Waterloo, IA, 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.

Try Talk Therapy

Your loved one’s insomnia may be caused by depression, anxiety, or stress stemming from loneliness, illness, financial burdens, decreased mobility, or loss of independence. If you notice a change in your loved one’s sleep patterns or behavior, ask if he or she wants to talk about it. If your loved one is worried about any of the aforementioned problems, assure him or her that you’ll do your best to find a solution. Once your loved one knows you care and are willing to help, he or she may feel secure enough to enjoy a good night’s sleep. If your loved one is worried about health issues, make an appointment with his or her physician as soon as possible so an effective plan of care can be implemented. The doctor’s treatment plan may include an evaluation by a mental health professional.

When you understand the causes of your loved one’s sleep difficulties and use the strategies outlined above, you can help him or her sleep better and 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 elder care. Waterloo, IA, 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 319-260-2222 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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