5 Tips for Helping Aging Adults Get More Restful Sleep

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As people age, their sleep needs change. Many elderly people experience insomnia as a result of medication side effects, health conditions, psychological problems, or chronic pain. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help your senior loved one sleep better so he or she has more energy the next day.

1. Encourage Walking

Mild forms of exercise such as walking increase circulation, enhance range of motion, promote cardiovascular health, and induce restorative sleep patterns. Encourage your loved one to take a walk after lunch or dinner so he or she feels relaxed and drowsy when bedtime comes around. While walking has positive effects on sleep patterns, it’s important to talk to your loved one’s doctor before encouraging a new exercise regimen.

For seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to exercise safely 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 care. Des Moines Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Serve Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium is an essential mineral that’s crucial for optimal cardiovascular function. It may also play an important role in the quality of sleep, so encourage your loved one to eat more magnesium-rich foods, such as bananas and almonds. In addition to its ability to induce sleep, magnesium can regulate the heart rate and ease angina, which may prevent restful sleep.

3. Talk About Feelings

Your loved one may have sleep issues as a result of depression, loneliness, or anxiety. Talk to your loved one about his or her feelings and level of happiness. If your discussion reveals the presence of psychological or emotional problems, make an appointment to have your loved one’s physician perform a comprehensive examination and, if needed, refer your loved one to a mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment. Once psychological issues have been recognized and treated, your loved one may experience better sleep patterns. 

Seniors with anxiety or depression may get a great sense of comfort from having a professional caregiver close by. For many seniors in Des Moines, 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.

4. Monitor for Pain

Many seniors experience chronic pain, which can cause issues with sleep. If your loved one complains of pain, make sure to administer his or her prescribed pain medication before bedtime, as this may help him or her sleep better and avoid waking up in the middle of the night because of discomfort. However, if your loved one hasn’t been prescribed any medications for pain, make an appointment with his or her physician. Once the source of pain has been identified, an appropriate analgesic may be prescribed so your loved one can enjoy a restful slumber.

5. Consider Diuretic Side Effects

If your loved one has high blood pressure or edema, the physician may have prescribed a diuretic, or “water pill.” While diuretics have a good safety profile and are effective at managing hypertension, they also cause frequent urination. If your loved one is taking diuretics, his or her sleep may be disrupted because of waking up multiple times during the night to use the bathroom. If sleep is disrupted too often because of nocturnal urination, talk to the doctor about lowering the dosage of the diuretic or discontinuing the medication altogether.

These strategies can help your loved one sleep better, which can definitely 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 home care services. Des Moines, 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. 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 (515) 264-2438 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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