הבלוג של הסבתא / Professional Caregiving / 7 Tips on How to Put Your Elderly Patient to Sleep

7 Tips on How to Put Your Elderly Patient to Sleep

For elderly patients, they are having trouble falling asleep and waking up only after a few hours of shallow nap. This drains their energy and can be so overwhelming for them for they cannot do anything but seek help from a doctor who will give them a prescription medication to fall asleep.

 

It is important for a Caregiver to know some tips on how they can help their patient to have a good sleep:

  1. Identify the Underlying Problem - You don’t have to be a doctor to know what’s triggering your patient’s sleepless nights. If you can still talk to them, ask them what they feel or what’s bothering them at night. Whether it’s physical, mental or emotional factors, it should be identified for you to be able to effectively find some ways to help them.
  2. Make sure the bedroom is quiet, cool and without irritating light - As we age, if not losing our hearing, we become sensitive to noise. Our body temperature is also changing. Make sure the windows are closed, AC is regulated to comfortable temperature and put on a dim light if your patient doesn’t want to sleep in the dark.
  3. Make sure the bed is comfortable - Back pain from an uncomfortable bed is one of the major factors why some elderly have difficulty in sleeping. They couldn’t find a perfect position to sleep and this makes them roll from one side to the other affecting their sleep pattern. Make sure the bed is comfortable for them and the sheets and pillows are clean and comfortable as well.
  4. Limit Caffeine and liquid before bedtime - Caffeine can greatly affect your ability to sleep as it gives your brain that energy boost that’ll last until your bedtime. Also, limit the liquid intake before bedtime as this will trigger urination that may wake them up involuntarily.
  5. Exercise - Burn those excessive energy that may hinder your patient to fall asleep. If they are able, let them have a walk in the afternoon and limit their wheelchair confinement. They can also enroll in swimming lessons or aerobics for the elderly.
  6. Reduce Mental Stress - Encourage your patient to listen to calming music, make a journal or develop a hobby like reading or painting. You can also give them a gentle massage before bed time to relax their body and mind.
  7. Take your pills - If the doctor prescribed a sleeping pill for your patient, do not forget to let them take this before bedtime. It is highly important as some sleeping issues cannot be corrected by natural means anymore. 

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