Insomnia is a much bigger deal than some people might make of it. In fact, if your elderly family member has been dealing with insomnia for a long time, she might downplay how much it affects her. regardless of whether it’s a new or old problem for your senior, you need to know what to watch for so you can talk to her doctor.
Trouble Falling Asleep
When most people think about insomnia, difficulty falling asleep is one of the first symptoms that they may think about. Taking too long to fall asleep might seem subjective for some people. If your elderly family member has always had trouble falling asleep, she might not think of this as a problem unless it takes longer than usual. In general, if it takes longer than half an hour for your senior to fall asleep, she might have a form of insomnia.
Trouble Staying Asleep
Your elderly family member could fall asleep just fine but then wake up a few hours later. Some people who have this sort of issue also find that it’s much more difficult to fall asleep the second time than it was when they first went to bed. Another version of this type of insomnia involves waking up well before it’s really time to wake up without being able to go back to sleep.
It might feel as if insomnia is chronic after just a couple of episodes, especially if your aging family member has always slept well before. But true chronic insomnia is something that lasts far longer, usually every night for longer than thirty days. Some people can experience chronic insomnia for years before they seek treatment.
A Little Bit of Everything
Your elderly family member could easily experience just one of these distinct forms of insomnia, but it’s much more likely that she experiences just a bit of everything. Being unable to sleep well can lead to her having difficulty functioning well the next day. She may start to develop depression or trouble with her memory, too. That’s why ignoring insomnia is generally not the best idea.
Start helping your senior to keep a sleep diary. Ask other family members and elder care providers to help you add notes to the sleep diary as they notice things. Take the sleep diary to your elderly family member’s doctor once you have a week or two of data collected.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Orinda, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203
At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.
As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.