Losing Sleep puts Seniors at Risk

Losing Sleep puts Seniors at Risk

By Greg Bechard from the Home Instead Senior Care® office in Mississauga ON.

Q.    We just celebrated my older brother Jake’s 84th birthday. After staying at his house for a week, I noticed that he wakes up a couple of times each night, watches TV for about 10 minutes and goes back to bed. In the morning, he looks bushed but insists that’s normal for him. Since he lives alone, I’m a bit concerned. I don’t think he’s getting much more than five hours of sleep at night. I think it’s a struggle for Jake to keep his house in shape. Do you think I’m too much of a worrywart?

It might be time for Jake to see his doctor and seek help at home. Older people who regularly sleep less than six hours a night significantly increase their risk of stroke symptoms, according to recent research. The three-year study involved 5,666 adults of normal weight with a low risk of obstructive sleep apnea

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers recorded the first stroke symptoms, along with demographic information, stroke-risk factors, depression symptoms and various health behaviors.

After adjusting for body-mass index, the researchers found a strong association between daily sleep periods of fewer than six hours and a greater incidence of stroke symptoms for middle-age to older adults, even beyond other risk factors. The study, however, found no association between short sleep periods and stroke symptoms among overweight and obese participants.

Further research may support the results, providing a strong argument for increasing physician and public awareness of the impact of sleep as a risk factor for stroke symptoms, especially among those with few other risk factors, said lead author Megan Ruiter, Ph.D.

Seniors who live alone often benefit from having a trusted source in the home to alleviate anxiety at bedtime. CAREGivers from the Home Instead Senior Care® office in Mississauga would be happy to provide information about the ways in which they could help.

A CAREGiver can serve many other roles for Uncle Jake including to provide medication reminders if he is on a prescription drug regimen. A CAREGiver also is available for light housekeeping, meal preparation, companionship, errands and shopping.

For more information about Home Instead Senior Care®, contact Greg Bechard at 905- 276-2273 or go to our website –www.HomeInsteadSeniorCare.com. For more about the research, visit http://www.uab.edu/news/latest/item/2483-sleep-debt-hikes-risk-of-stroke-symptoms-despite-healthy-bmi. The Home Instead Senior Care network’s 2012 Family Caregiver Support Web Seminar Series features monthly seminars for family caregivers on a variety of topics that can help them care for their aging loved ones.  Learn more about the topics and preregister at Caregiverstress.com/familyeducation.

To learn more about caregiving and what it means to be a Home Instead Senior Care CAREGiver in the Mississauga ON area, please give us a call at 905-521-5500.

Our Professional CAREGivers are trained lead workshops for family caregivers on four different topics related to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care.
Please call 905-521-5500. Visit: Home Instead Senior Care in Hamilton.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

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