As many as 20% of seniors have an anxiety disorder that can impact their ability to sleep at night. But getting restorative sleep is key for seniors. Seniors need to get at least eight hours of sleep at night to stay healthy. For some seniors, their anxiety becomes even worse at night because that is the time they feel most alone. During the day seniors can chat with loved ones and friends, go outside for walks, and stay busy and engaged. But at night seniors can feel lonely, scared, and isolated.
If your senior loved one battles with anxiety and isn’t getting enough sleep try these things to reduce their anxiety and make it possible for them to sleep:
A fantastic way to help relieve your senior loved one’s anxiety at night is to have a caregiver in the house overnight. While your senior loved one is sleeping the companion care at home provider can do laundry, prep meals, tidy up the house, and make sure that your senior loved one is sleeping peacefully. Often just knowing that they aren’t alone is enough to help seniors sleep better at night. The soothing sounds of someone puttering around the house can allow seniors to relax enough to sleep.
Making things with their hands is a fantastic way to relax seniors and lower their anxiety. Get your senior loved one some clay, some paints, and other arts and crafts supplies. Engaging in crafts or doing activities like crocheting, knitting, or painting for an hour before bed can help your senior loved one fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. If your senior loved one isn’t a crafty person get them to try something simple like coloring in a coloring book. The qualify of the finished product doesn’t matter. There may never be a finished product. All that matters is that your senior loved one is using their hands and minds to make something or color something. That’s what lowers their anxiety.
Meditation can be a very effective stress and anxiety management tool. Seniors who are not experienced at meditation may struggle to quiet their minds on cue at first. But the more they meditate the easier it will be. At first, they should start with just a five-minute guided meditation. Then they can ease into longer meditations that will help alleviate anxiety and stress.
If your senior loved one just can’t settle down enough to meditate at night a video chat with their children or grandchildren might do the trick. Even just a quick 15-minute visit can be very reassuring to seniors. Your senior parent will feel calmer and less anxious when they can see and hear you, your siblings, or your kids. Some family caregivers like to get on a video chat and pray or meditate with their senior loved ones as part of their nightly “getting ready for bed” ritual.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care in Arlington, MA, or the surrounding areas please contact the caring staff at Visiting Nurse & Community Care today. (781) 643-6090