If your senior is having trouble sleeping and has dementia, you’re going to need to try some specific techniques for helping her to get past the issues she’s experiencing. These senior care tips may help.
Include Physical Activity in Her Daily Routine
As long as your senior’s doctor clears her for exercise, it can be a helpful tool in terms of sleep problems. Your senior may not be as active now as she used to be, especially if she’s not getting out of the house as much as she was before dementia. Having some time set aside in her daily routine for regular exercise helps to tire out her muscles and it prompts her brain to release a host of chemicals, neurotransmitters, and hormones that help her to stay healthier overall.
Consider Light Therapy
Light therapy is helpful for depression, but it can also help with sleep issues. Your elderly family member’s circadian rhythm can easily get derailed, and if she’s dealing with dementia her sleep and wake times can get even more out of whack. Light therapy earlier in the day can help her brain to release the chemicals necessary for wakefulness. Gradually lowering light in the evening can help her brain to release chemicals necessary for sleep.
Meet Basic Needs Throughout the Day
Because of the impact that dementia has on cognition, it’s incredibly difficult for your senior to remember and to do all of the things that her body needs her to do. These basic needs can be some of the very situations that interfere with her ability to sleep. Doing as much as you can throughout the day to keep your senior on routine can ultimately meet all of those basic needs right as they’re cropping up. Elderly care providers can be instrumental in helping you and your senior to find that routine and to stick with it regularly.
Develop a Nighttime Routine that Eases Her into Sleep
A nighttime routine that takes your senior gradually from full wakefulness to sleep is vital. Starting a couple of hours before bed, you’re going to want to start her nighttime routine with activities that help her body and her brain to become ready for sleep. That might include a bath, some time for reading, or even a special warm beverage that she associates with getting ready for sleep.
That routine can be incredibly soothing for her, even on rough days. Sleep issues aren’t completely unexpected for people with dementia, but they can feel difficult to manage until you and your senior have a solid plan. Use the senior care tips above to help you with better health for your senior.