How to Address Sleep Issues in Seniors with Alzheimer’s

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Tips to Address Sleep Issues in Seniors with Alzheimer’s in Barrie, ON

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you may notice your senior parent being more tired than usual. This might be because Alzheimer’s often causes sleep problems. As brain tissue deteriorates, seniors often have issues with their sleep cycles, which might lead to nighttime wandering, agitation, and daytime sleepiness. Here are some tips for managing sleep issues related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Check for Sleep Apnea

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease are more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea. In people with this condition, the soft tissues of the mouth and throat relax and block the airway, which stops seniors from breathing and wakes them up. Some seniors with sleep apnea wake up hundreds of times per night. A sleep test is typically required to diagnose this condition. Wearing a device known as a continuous positive airway pressure machine might help your loved one if he or she has obstructive sleep apnea.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Barrie Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Encourage Exercise

Seniors who aren’t active enough during the day may find it difficult to wind down and sleep. Regular exercise promotes healthy sleep cycles, tires out muscles, and reduces insomnia. Make sure the exercise is done in the earlier part of the day, as too much activity in the evening could make it difficult for your loved one to go to sleep on time.

A professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise safely. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading elderly home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Limit Caffeine

It’s okay for your loved one to continue to enjoy caffeinated coffee, tea, or soda as long as he or she drinks it earlier in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant, and drinking it too close to bedtime might make it difficult to sleep. Limit caffeine to before 2 p.m. each day for the best results.

Limit Naps

If your loved one isn’t sleeping at night, he or she may want to take naps during the day. Napping for too long might cause your loved one to not be tired enough to sleep at night, creating a cycle that may be difficult to break. Limit your loved one’s naps during the day. Get out of the house, invite friends over to socialize, or plan afternoon activities to keep your loved one awake when he or she tries to take a nap.

Bolt & Alarm Doors

If your loved one is prone to nighttime wandering, it might be difficult for you to get sleep if you’re worried about him or her walking out of the house in the middle of the night. Bolt doors from the inside and place alarms on each door to alert household members if your loved one tries to walk out during the night.

Try Melatonin

Talk with your loved one’s healthcare provider about melatonin, a natural hormone that cues the body to prepare for sleep as the day ends. Some people don’t make enough melatonin naturally, so taking a supplement might be helpful. Melatonin is non-habit forming and natural, so many doctors prefer it over sleep medications. 

If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Barrie seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. For reliable in-home Alzheimer’s care services, contact us at 647-970-3803 today.


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