How Dementia Can Affect Your Sleep

The science of sleep is relatively new, but we can say this—the brain is the most active part of the body during sleep. So it stands to reason that dementia, a brain disease, disrupts sleep.

 

Most dementia patients experience sleep disruption, and the disruption tends to get worse as the disease progresses. Sleep disruption is often a primary reason for institutionalizing a dementia patient since their caregiver needs sleep too.

 

In some cases, the anxiety brought on by dementia can cause people to struggle to fall asleep. In other cases, the disease itself causes the sleep issue.

 

People with REM Sleep Behavior disorder (RSBD) act out their vivid dreams—flailing and shouting in reaction to their dreamworld, which often involves being chased by violent people or animals. In advanced cases, the person's flailing can injure themselves or their partner. REM Sleep Behavior disorder (RSBD) is closely linked with Lewy Body dementia.

 

Wandering at night, a common behavior among dementia patients may be linked to circadian rhythm changes caused by the disease.

 

While dementia is clearly linked with sleep problems, sleep disruption is very common as people age. Among people over the age of 60, nearly half report suffering from sleep problems. The medication they take, circadian rhythm changes, and simple aches and pains can all be at fault.

 

All of this presents a challenge for medical professionals and caregivers because dementia patients are no different than anyone else—they need sleep to heal. Improved sleep quality can be part of the treatment for an existing mental illness.

 

So, sleep trouble in a dementia patient may actually present an opportunity. If sleep quality can be improved, some of the other symptoms the dementia patient is enduring may get less severe. The patient's quality of life can be improved, and loved ones can continue to manage their care.

 

This guide to helping seniors sleep better helps seniors and their caregivers understand how sleep problems are affecting them, and gives tips for improving sleep.

5 Valuable Resources for Caregivers

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5 Valuable Resources for Caregivers

1. A place for Mom - This website is brimming with useful information and articles that are great for helping you take care of a loved one.Includes the Caregiver Toolkit, ideas for tough conversations, and great articles and inspirational quotes.

2. Benefits Checkup - A great resource to help you find assistance paying for food, medication, health care, utilities and more. Curated by the National Council on Aging.

3. Caregiving.org - Created specifically for caregivers, this website can help you find local and state coalitions, resources and news for caregivers.

4. Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.

5. Caregiver Relief - A website of answers, videos, and support for caregivers.

For a detailed walkthrough of discounts and special offers for seniors, visit Coupon Chief.

 

Signs It's Time for Assisted Living

As our loved ones age, we must look for signs that show they're no longer able to live independently. It's impressive that many elders maintain lives at home; they continue to drive, manage their own finances and even appear as mentally sharp as ever. However, we must learn to identify the potential warning signs that come with the normal aging process.

For more information, visit the original article.

Substance Abuse And Addiction In The Elderly

substance-abuse-blogDrug and alcohol misuse, abuse, and addiction is of great concern no matter what the age of the user, however, these problems are unfortunately, and quite dangerously, all too prevalent within the elderly population. The Administration on Aging’s (AoA) guide, Prescription Medication Misuse and Abuse Among Older Adults, illustrates the scope and possible root of this problem, “Misuse of prescription medications, also referred to as non-medical use of prescription drugs, is estimated to increase from 1.2 percent (911,000) in 2001 to 2.4 percent (2.7 million) in 2020—a 100 percent increase—among older adults.”
For more information visit the original article.
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