Caregiver Tips for Seniors Suffering from Sleep-Disordered Breathing
October 18, 2018
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
As a family caregiver, you likely think about the issues, dangers, and potential problems your senior will face when awake, but what about when they sleep?
Humans spend a surprising 30 percent of their lives sleeping, and many issues can occur during this time that negatively impact their functioning when awake.
Sleep-disordered breathing, a term used to describe various health problems related to abnormal breathing patterns during sleep, is the most common form of sleep disorder.
Helping seniors cope with their sleep-breathing problem can help them stay healthier and safer and create a more fulfilling lifestyle as they age in place.
4 Caregiver Tips for Seniors Suffering from Sleep-Disordered Breathing
Use these tips to help you in your caregiver role to care for a senior who is dealing with sleep-disordered breathing:
1. Don’t Rely on Snoring to Diagnose
Many people think if a person is dealing with disordered breathing while sleeping, they will snore. This, however, is not necessarily the case.
While snoring is a very common symptom of disordered breathing while sleeping, it is not the only one and is not always present.
Do not think that just because your parent is not snoring they have gotten over their disorder or are “recovered.”
2. Encourage Them to Lose Weight
Being overweight not only increases the chances your parent will develop disordered breathing but can also make it more severe. If your parent is overweight, encourage them to lose those extra pounds in a safe and healthy way.
3. Make Better Lifestyle Choices
If your elderly parent uses tobacco products or consumes alcohol, discuss with them how changing these choices can help them to improve their breathing and sleep.
4. Discuss Medications With Their Doctor
Certain medications, including muscle relaxants, can increase the symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing.
Discuss your parent’s medications with their doctor to find out if they might be influencing their symptoms and if there are alternatives your parent might be able to switch to in order to control these symptoms better.
Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care Services in Florida
Have you noticed that your senior loved one’s challenges and limitations have worsened?
Do you no longer feel confident you can give them the care they need, or have your limitations or schedule changed and you cannot provide them with the care you would want to?
Starting home care for them might be the ideal solution. Whether your parent needs only a small amount of support such as transportation and help with activities of daily living, or more extensive care and support, you can work with an in-home care provider to personalized a schedule and an approach to help them address their challenges and limitations in the way that is right for them.
As a family caregiver, this can give you peace of mind knowing your senior is in good hands when you can be with them and when you are not.