Sleep, we love it. “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.” ~ Irish Proverb. But sometimes, we become frustrated when we just can’t seem to get enough.
Seniors often deal with the sleep challenge. Their sleep time may shift to the early evening, become of shorter duration with periods of sleeplessness, or they may have a hard time falling asleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, many of the changes seen in sleep patterns can be naturally attributed to the aging process: but, not all.
Some sleep patterns change due to common health issues. Snoring is the primary cause of sleep loss for 37 million Americans and can signal other health concerns like sleep apnea. Restless leg syndrome is another sleep disruptor occurring more often in the senior population. But, medications used to treat these issues can also contribute to sleep dysfunction. Notify your health care provider if sleep is becoming difficult. Perhaps all that’s needed is a medication switch.
Changes are also seen when seniors have fewer daily activities outside of the home and are not tired at the end of the day. Look into volunteering at the local library, humane society, or church. Consider part-time employment to help care for less mobile seniors and put your experience to work.
For home bound seniors, consider local in-home assistance which can provide much needed companionship, prepare and share a meal, and socialize. For questions about affordable in-home services, contact the Office on Aging or your local Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services (440-935-3848).
Alice Iseminger is the co-owner of Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Services in Ohio's Lorain, Erie and Medina Counties.