ElderCarelink Blog

Elder’s insomnia may warn of other health issues

by Dorian Martin
May 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 am

Dad and I pretty much have the same conversation every morning. When I ask him how he slept, he says something like this: “I slept hard but not soundly. I was up several times during the night, but couldn’t go back to sleep. I don’t feel rested.” His description seems to match symptoms for insomnia, although I’m not a medical doctor. Insomnia can be problematic for elders — new research shows it may signal a need for health services and hospitalization in the future.

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The missing link: elders’ sleep and memory issues

by Dorian Martin
April 10th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Dad’s memory varies greatly. For instance, last week he could remember the first name of a woman he had read about in a 2010 newspaper article. But yesterday he couldn’t remember that we had to hire a plumber last week — even though he was the one who noticed that we had a backed-up sink.

I’m not worried, however, that he has some sort of dementia. Instead, I believe his memory issues are primarily due to his difficulty sleeping soundly throughout the night.

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Could sleeping position affect elders’ health?

by Dorian Martin
January 24th, 2013 at 10:06 am

Like many older people, Dad has numerous physical challenges. As I’ve mentioned before, he has chronic lower back pain due to stenosis and also has been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Dad also occasionally fights acid reflux. And like many older people, he can’t get a good night’s sleep.

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Helping elders sleep more, and more soundly

by Dorian Martin
October 10th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Every morning, Dad and I engage in the same conversation. “How did you sleep?” I ask him at the first sign of his moving around. His reply: “I slept, but I didn’t sleep soundly.”

We continue to try to piece together what is behind Dad’s sleep issues. About six years ago, I noticed that Dad was snoring quite a bit. He agreed to have a sleep test, which pinpointed sleep apnea. That condition often disrupts sleep, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. To get his sleep apnea under control, Dad now uses a machine designed for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) at night, which has helped some.

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Sleep: One predictable aspect of caregiving

by Isabel Fawcett, SPHR
June 8th, 2011 at 10:00 am

I once overheard a friend describe my caregiving journey to a stranger as being “…down to a science.” Upon hearing that, I had to chuckle. Yet, it also caused me to ponder the comment. Is caregiving–with all of its unpredictability–ever predictable?

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