Sleep disruptions increase in frequency during the senior years. Seniors with Alzheimer’s tend to experience more severe sleep problems, and this can be due to multiple factors, such as difficulty understanding time and place. They may also have physical issues that interfere with their sleep. Managing Alzheimer’s-related sleep issues typically involves using several different methods to address the various underlying causes.
Provide Light Therapy During the Day
Circadian rhythms are regulated by the brain, and cognitive changes can interfere with this function. Light therapy can make it clear to the brain when daytime occurs. Special lamps can be used for this type of therapy, and you can also help by taking your loved one outside during the daytime hours.
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 Montgomery 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.
Get Your Loved One Moving
Some sleep problems are due to a lack of physical activity. Your loved one needs to burn off energy to get ready to sleep at night. Try to find ways to get your loved one moving more during the day. If your loved one has health issues, this could be something as simple as folding towels for a few minutes. Then he or she could help you wipe down the table before lunch. The idea is to get your loved one moving more, and it’s fine if the rounds of exercise are broken up into small chunks of time.
Keep a Consistent Routine
Seniors with Alzheimer’s should have care plans that include daily routines to help them know what’s happening next. A routine with a regular waking time helps your loved one stay awake long enough during the day to be tired by nightfall. While you may need to wake your loved one up in the morning, it pays off when he or she is ready to go to sleep at night.
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 in-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
Discuss Medication Side Effects with the Doctor
Alzheimer’s medications can have sleep disruptions as a side effect. Some may also have other side effects, such as increased urination, that prompt your loved one to wake up more often. If the sleep problems are severe, you may need to talk to the doctor about possible changes you can make to your loved one’s medication regimen.
Use Environmental Cues Before Bedtime
You can also start setting the stage for bedtime by making small changes in your loved one’s environment as bedtime nears. Try dimming the lights in the house after dinner. You can also lay your loved one’s pajamas out on the bed, play soothing music, and begin using a quieter voice to send signals that it’s getting close to bedtime.
Ask for Help with Late-Night Care
There may come a time when your loved one wakes up throughout the night no matter what you do. Once this happens, you need to start practicing self-care. Don’t try to pull both day and night shifts as a family caregiver. Instead, arrange for an overnight caregiver to watch your loved one while you sleep so you’ll be fresh in the morning.
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. Montgomery 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. If your loved one needs professional home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (334) 593-3988 today.