Are you preparing to care for an elderly loved one overnight and not sure what to expect? As we age, our circadian rhythm— the natural cycle in our brain that tells us when to wake and sleep— can be interrupted by the natural aging process and other factors such as dementia. This can cause them to become confused and agitated.
In today’s blog post from Integrity Home Care + Hospice, we will offer some tips on keeping your loved one comfortable and safe during overnight hours.
While they might sleep several hours during the day, your elderly loved ones may find themselves awake several times a night. Understanding this and matching your sleep patterns while under your care will help set expectations and lessen your frustration.
According to the Sleep Foundation, the circadian rhythm is the 24-hour cycle part of our body’s internal clock. It’s a function we are born with that allows us to develop and execute essential tasks such as waking in the morning and knowing when to eat, play, rest, and sleep. Unfortunately, when this rhythm begins to deteriorate as we age, our mind doesn’t know what to tell our body, disrupting daily and nightly routines.
If your loved one has dementia or other issues like incontinence, this can cause them to wake in the night more often, disrupting their natural rhythm and yours.
Here are a few ways to make them more comfortable and allow for rest:
Overnight Adult Diapers
Overnight adult diapers can come in multiple styles and sizes, depending upon the need. Over the years, these incontinence aids have become more streamlined, feeling and appearing like actual underwear. Adult diapers can allow the elderly to sleep comfortably through the night without fearing soaked bedding and clothing. In addition, these sleep aids can draw the moisture away from the skin, preventing or reducing rash and irritation.
Monitoring Food & Drink at Night
Consuming caffeinated or regular drinks after a particular time can cause bladder and stomach issues for some seniors. By reducing the intake amount of liquids after 7 p.m. should help with overnight problems.
If you’re afraid your loved one may wander during the night, there are ways to help them stay safe without limiting their mobility.
Placing night lights in the bedroom and down hallways that lead to bathrooms and kitchens can illuminate a clear path for them to navigate down, lessening the chance for falls. Also, place night lights in the bathroom to see clearly upon entering before turning on the wall light.
Before going to bed, make sure any shoes, toys, or other items are picked up off the floor, creating an obstacle-free area for them to walk.
Installing a raised toilet seat along with railings in the bath around the toilet, shower, and bed will give your senior relative something to hold on to while navigating the area. In addition, a raised toilet seat keeps them at a higher angle, allowing them to sit and stand easier.
Keeping your elderly loved one safe is essential. In addition, allowing them to retain some independence and freedom helps their overall well-being, both mentally and physically.
If caring for an elderly loved one overnight begins to become overwhelming, we encourage you to seek help. You can only care for others if you are healthy.
Integrity Home Care + Hospice professionals can work with your schedule and budget to establish a plan that will help you and your loved one. We understand the emotional and physical demands that this type of care can put on you and your whole family. We approach every client with empathy and compassion, and most of all, respect.
Contact us today by calling 855-442-4968 or visit our website.