5 Tips for Helping an Aging Loved One with Sleep Apnea

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Helping an Aging Loved One with Sleep Apnea in Des Moines, IA

Many seniors live with sleep apnea, and family caregivers are often the primary people who help them with this condition. Assisting with a sleep condition often means you must manage your daily responsibilities after being up during the night. You’ll find helping your aging loved one gets easier when you use these five strategies to address his or her sleep apnea.

1. Help Your Loved One Maintain a Healthy Weight

Seniors who are overweight are more likely to experience challenges with their sleeping patterns. The majority of people with sleep apnea are over their recommended ideal weight, which means you may have some room to help your loved one boost his or her health. Start helping your parent put together a healthy meal and exercise plan. Relieving his or her body of extra weight can make it easier for your loved one to breathe at night. Some seniors need help following a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care service. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.

2. Limit Certain Activities at Night

People with sleep apnea need to avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine at night, since this can impact their respiration as they rest. Alcohol works as a depressant on the central nervous system, and this could cause your loved one to experience more apnea episodes at night. Your loved one should also avoid eating heavy meals and exercising within three hours of bedtime so he or she can breathe better.

3. Find the Optimal Sleeping Position

Sleep apnea episodes tend to occur more frequently when people sleep on their backs. This is because having the neck and head in this position can cause the airway to close up. Your loved one may need to sleep on his or her side to prevent episodes. You can help by offering pillows and other cushions to provide support so your loved one stays more comfortable in a new sleeping position.

4. Provide Assistance with Cleaning Sleep Apnea Devices

Many people with sleep apnea use special devices to keep their airways open. Mouthpieces are designed to hold the jaw and tongue in a specific position. Your loved one might use a CPAP machine to open up the airways and get more air to the lungs. Both of these devices are effective and safe, but they need to be cleaned thoroughly to prevent bacteria and mold from building up on the surfaces. Seniors may face difficulty with this aspect of their care, especially if they have memory loss or challenges with mobility. Offering to help with this vital part of the day can prevent oral and lung infections. Caring for an aging adult can be overwhelming at times. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Des Moines, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.

5. Plan for Late-Night Care

CPAP machines are quieter now, but they can still make it difficult to sleep at night. Sleep apnea episodes can also cause your loved one to wake up frequently, and he or she may have difficulty getting back to sleep. If your loved one’s sleep challenges are interfering with your ability to sleep at night, it’s time to bring in another caregiver. This allows you to rest better and handle your duties during the day while knowing someone is there to comfort your loved one when he or she wakes up during the night. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Des Moines at-home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Call us at (515) 264-2438 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.  


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