Getting enough sleep is absolutely essential for health and wellbeing. Unfortunately for the approximately one million people throughout the United States living with Parkinson's disease, getting enough sleep is not always easy. Approximately 75% of those living with Parkinson's disease experience some type of sleep disruption during the progression of their disease. This disruption can be insomnia, vivid dreaming that can disrupt sleep, excessive sweating, needing to get up to go to the restroom, restless leg syndrome, and more. As their caregiver, it is important for you to recognize the value of getting good sleep both for their overall health and well-being, and the management of their Parkinson's disease. Taking simple steps to help them get better sleep can improve their quality of life, and there management of their disease.
Some ways you can help your senior get better sleep include:
- Practice good sleep hygiene by setting a time your parent will go to sleep, and what time they will wake up, and having them follow this every day. A sleep schedule teaches the body when to sleep, and when to wake up, which controls daytime sleepiness and improves quality of sleep
- If your aging parent must get up earlier for some reason, plan what time they go to bed based on them getting at least 7 hours asleep
- If your aging parent suffers with difficulties moving, rolling over, or changing positions and they are in bed, consider making their bed with satin or satin style sheets, and having them wear similarly slick pajamas
- Create a routine your aging parent follows each evening to help them get ready for bed. Going through the process of preparing themselves, such as changing into their pajamas, brushing their teeth, reading a book, and getting into bed helps your parent relax and get ready to sleep
- Encourage your parent to exercise every morning to wake their body up and start their day on an energetic note
- Encourage your parent to get some time in daylight every day. This triggers the brain to be awake and alert, and is also important for vitamin D production. If daylight is not available, consider light therapy
- Discourage your parent from drinking within three hours of their bedtime
- Discourage your parent from reading or watching TV while they are in bed. This confuses the brain, and teaches it to stay awake
- Consider placing a toilet chair next to the bed so your parent doesn't have to get up and move through the house to use the restroom at night. This can help to keep their body from getting too awake
You cannot be expected to handle all of the needs of an elderly adult who needs support and care throughout the day and night. No matter how devoted you are to being a family caregiver for your aging parent, you must also remember your own needs as well. Starting senior care can be a fantastic way to ensure your aging parent gets the care and support they need, while also protecting your physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being it throughout the progression of their disease. A set of customized services enables your parents to meet their specific needs and challenges in ways that are right for them, while also enabling you to delegate care tasks in ways that are appropriate for your abilities and schedule. This can mean caring for them for a few hours a couple of times a week, throughout the day, or even awake and alert care for overnight so you can get the sleep you need while knowing your parent is safe.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Holt, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.