How to Help the Senior Care Patient in Pompano Beach FL with Insomnia!

As we age, our sleep is less restful and not as deep as when we were younger.  Insomnia is most common in seniors who are 60 and older.  Instead of the normal 8 hours of sleep that most adults get, they average 6.5 hours.  Senior care can be helpful to a person with insomnia.Senior Care Pompano Beach FL

There are several factors that can be the cause of insomnia.  Chronic pain, illness, medication, lifestyle changes, and anxiety are just some of the things that could trigger this sleep disorder.  Insomnia can result in depression, a decline in health, and constant fatigue.

Insomnia is often a sign of an underlying health condition.  The first thing senior care services should note in a patient with insomnia is the duration period.  If the insomnia lasts less than 3 weeks, then it is short term.  If the insomnia lasts more than 3 weeks, then it is long term.

Short term insomnia is often caused by:

  • Stress
  • Pain
  • changes within a person’s environment
  • medications or stimulants
  • withdrawal of sedatives

If a non-pharmacologic method of treatment doesn’t help, then the doctor will treat with medication.

Long term insomnia can be a result of:

  • Chronic pain
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Nocturia
  • Medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, hyperthyroidism, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or a rheumatologic disease

Non-pharmacological methods senior care services can use to treat insomnia are:

  • Making sure the patient doesn’t take naps during the day.
  • Getting the proper amount of exercise can be helpful.
  • Establish a routine for going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid caffeine especially in the evening, alcohol, and smoking.
  • Restrict eating and drinking before bed so that they are waking up to use the bathroom.
  • Relaxation therapy can be helpful to reduce stress, especially if the senior is a worrier.  Reading a book instead of watching television is a good way to relax the mind.

If the non-pharmacological methods don’t bring any relief, medications may be needed. Monitor the medication and the side effects and communicate with the doctor.  Some of the medications used are:

  • Benzoiazepines are commonly used but can have serious adverse effects that can be dangerous to the elderly, including dizziness, weakness, unsteadiness, mental confusion, memory impairment, nausea, a change in appetite, headaches, and agitation.
  • Zolpidem should only be used for one month maximum.  If taken over the maximum time frame, it can cause depression, behavioral changes, dizziness, amnesia, diarrhea, decreased respiratory function, headaches, and nausea.
  • Zaleplon is used for short-term insomnia.  Side effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, hallucinations, tremors, and amnesia.

Senior care for a patient with insomnia can involve some of the methods or medications mentioned above.  Always consult with a doctor to get advice about a recommended course of action.

Activa Home Health Care is available to assist with senior care in the home at any time. Serving Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and surrounding communities. 

President, Anne Marie Thompson, brings over 25 years of healthcare experience to Activa Home Health.

“My entire career as a nurse has been devoted to serving the senior population, helping them to age safely and independently in their homes,” says Thompson.

Anne Marie enjoys spending time with her children. She also loves the outdoors, spending time at the beach and out on the water enjoying all things sunny South Florida has to offer.