You depend on your aging parent’s elderly care provider to take good care of your loved one, physically and emotionally. They spend a lot of time with your aging relative, and they are in a good position to notice when anything might be amiss. If your elderly parent’s senior care provider comes to you with suspicions of sleep apnea, you should pay attention. Undiagnosed sleep apnea can result in a number of negative health problems for seniors.
Sleep Apnea is Common in Seniors
Sleep apnea, when a person stops breathing during sleep, is the kind of condition that is most often noticed by someone other than the elderly adult. Because the breathing episodes happen during sleep, the senior doesn’t realize it is happening. However, elderly care providers are trained to pay attention to the behaviors and habits of their elderly clients so they can pass on concerns to family members. They are in the best position to notice abnormalities in someone’s sleep patterns and then say something about it.
The symptoms of sleep apnea in seniors are generally considered to be loud snoring, long silences, gasping for breath, and tossing and turning.
An attentive elderly care provider can hear and see the symptoms and then note whether there are only a few occurrences or it it is happening night after night. Other daytime symptoms of sleep apnea include dry mouth, sore throat, headaches, mood swings, sleepiness, lack of focus and depression. If these symptoms are present, the elderly care provider will let you know so you can get your loved one to the doctor for a checkup.
How to Manage Sleep Apnea with Elderly Care Providers
Just as the elderly care provider can alert you to their observations about the quality of your elderly loved one’s sleep, they can help the senior manage the sleep apnea as well. One of the most common treatments for mild sleep apnea is a lifestyle change like quitting smoking and losing weight. Elevated sleeping, no alcohol before bed and using a mouthpiece to create breathing space are also often recommended by doctors.
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, the doctor will likely prescribe a sleeping device that is like a face mask that seniors wear to sleep. The machine gently blows air into the passageways, keeping them open when the elderly person sleeps. It can be difficult for an aging adult to get the machine situated while they get ready for bed, so an elderly care provider that helps them at night can make it easier to situate. Seniors are more likely to wear the device when they have help getting it set up.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can rob elderly adults of the restful sleep they need to stay energetic, healthy and focused. If your aging parent’s elderly care provider wants to talk to you about sleep apnea symptoms, it’s a good idea to listen up and then take action.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Hoover, AL, please contact the caring staff at Senior Legacy Care today. Call us at (205) 380-7418.
Susan Smith, Owner
Susan Smith is the owner of Senior Legacy, an independent non-medical senior in home care business.... Read More...