As people age, they often experience physical and mental changes that can impact how they sleep. One of the most common challenges faced by aging loved ones is sleep apnea. This condition occurs when the airways block during sleep, preventing oxygen from reaching the lungs. Left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications like heart disease and diabetes. However, there are steps assisted living communities in Metairie, LA can take to manage this condition in your loved ones, including things like increasing activity levels and limiting the intake of liquids before bedtime (both of which improve breathing).
Create A Calming Environment Before Bedtime
The first step in managing sleep apnea is creating a calming environment. This means no TV, loud music, or bright lights. It also means using a fan to make white noise and adding moisture to the air with a humidifier (if your loved one has trouble breathing through their nose). If they still have trouble sleeping at night, consider using earplugs or even buying them a sleep mask to get some rest without being disturbed by noise around them.
Educate Family And Caregivers
Family and caregivers are the first lines of defense in helping older adult manage their sleep apnea. They should be educated on the condition and know how to recognize symptoms, respond when they occur, and help the patient get treatment.
The best way for you as a family member or caregiver to support your loved one with this condition is by learning all you can about it yourself so that you can be prepared when they need it most!
Alter Sleep Position
It is important to note that sleeping on the side is more comfortable for people with sleep apnea. The reason for this is that sleeping in a lateral position will reduce the chance of snoring and choking. The reduced risk of choking may be due to decreased airway obstruction, as well as decreased secretion from the mouth and nose.
Sleeping on the side also promotes better breathing patterns during sleep because it helps prevent collapse at either end of your pharynx (throat). Additionally, when you sleep on your back or stomach, there’s more room for food particles to move into your larynx (voice box) which could lead to choking if not cleared from time-to-time during wakefulness throughout the day – especially if someone has been eating something particularly sticky like peanut butter!
Minimize Mobility Aids in Bedrooms
If you have a senior with incontinence, there are ways to accommodate that as well. For example, you can use a waterproof mattress or incontinence pad to help prevent spills. If your loved one is bedridden but still able to walk around the room, consider getting them a urinal or bedpan so they can use it when necessary instead of getting out of bed every time they need to go.
In addition to the equipment already discussed, other ways assisted living communities can help their residents manage sleep apnea. For example, ensure that you have a bed rail or other mobility aid in each room so that people can get in and out of bed without too much difficulty. A bedside commode is also helpful for people who experience incontinence during the night; this allows them to use their bathroom facilities without having to get up from their beds. Finally, if your community has a raised toilet seat available for those with limited mobility (or those who prefer higher seating), make sure it’s known throughout the facility. Hence, no resident has trouble finding one when needed!
Sleep apnea is a severe condition that can have lasting effects on the health of older adults. It’s important to note that senior-friendly independent living communities are specially trained to manage this disorder and other conditions affecting older adults.