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How Are Older Adults Affected by Sleep Deprivation?

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How Sleep Deprivation Affects Seniors in Addison, TX

According to the National Sleep Foundation, up to 24 percent of people over the age of 65 are receiving treatment for four or more health conditions. Statistics also indicate elderly people living with multiple chronic conditions have a greater chance of experiencing sleep deprivation. Family caregivers are intimately familiar with their aging loved ones’ medical conditions as well as the medications and treatments they require. However, sleeping disorders are commonly overlooked in older adults. Seniors who experience sleep deprivation often exhibit symptoms that mimic those of normal aging or age-related medical conditions.

Why Seniors Need Adequate Sleep

When asleep, fluids flow through the body faster in a type of cleansing routine that effectively flushes toxins from the system. Growth hormones and other chemicals are released and aid in the reparation process that takes place throughout the body. An insufficient amount of sleep interferes with these tasks and can lead to the development of conditions such as obesity and diabetes, and it can also exacerbate cardiovascular problems.  Significantly, sleep impacts the brain by allowing it to process the information it receives during the day and make pathways to connect old and new information. Sleep is critical for the portion of the brain that handles decision-making, which means inadequate sleep can lead to poor judgment. Additionally, lack of sleep has been shown to negatively impact the way certain areas of the brain function. This can be especially problematic for seniors who are already experiencing cognitive decline due to dementia.  Older adults with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia often have difficulty falling asleep and getting the high-quality rest their brains and bodies need. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Irving families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

Sleep Deprivation Symptoms

A lack of sufficient sleep may cause or increase confusion, memory loss, or depression and diminish overall mental capacity. In addition to mental issues, sleep deprivation also has physical effects. Muscle strength and endurance diminish, vital organs cannot function at optimal levels, pain tolerance decreases, and insulin production and effectiveness decrease. The immune system is also weakened, which leads to a greater risk of infections and illnesses. Seniors can get adequate rest at night by making healthy lifestyle choices. 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. Irving Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Helpful Hints for a Better Night’s Rest

Seniors who show signs of sleep disorders should be assessed by their healthcare providers. Helping your loved one live at home for as long as possible boosts his or her quality of life, but sleep deprivation can interfere with that objective. There are a number of methods you can employ to enhance your loved one’s ability to sleep well:
  • Establish a routine with the same sleep and wake times every day
  • Create time for peaceful relaxation before bedtime
  • Ensure the bedroom is cool, comfortable, dark, and quiet
  • Don’t serve meals or beverages two to three hours before bedtime
  • Make sure your loved one avoids alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine before bedtime
Lack of sleep can lead to a wide variety of medical conditions for aging adults. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional at-home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. To hire a professional caregiver for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (817) 591-1580 today. 

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