Experts recommend most adults get at least eight hours of sleep a night, but for many family caregivers, this is not a possibility much less reality. Caregiver insomnia is a real problem, and it can impact the lives of both the caregiver and care recipient if not effectively managed.
According to a recent study, insomnia impacts up to 87 percent of individuals providing home care for an elderly parent. It occurs when caregivers regularly keep odd hours in order to supervise their loved ones, attend to a senior’s physical and emotional needs or keep up with an irregular schedule often brought about by conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
This level of sleep deprivation is serious, and it increases the risk of being diagnosed with numerous health conditions including hypertension, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and diabetes. When diagnosed with these conditions, caregivers not only have a more difficult time maintaining their own health, but they also experience physical and mental setbacks that may make it difficult for them to manage everyday tasks for the loved one they are caring for.
Even on a short-term basis, insomnia makes it difficult for caregivers to maintain the energy necessary to provide care. They may become forgetful, physically depleted, or even experience momentary periods where they drift off or lose consciousness. This can cause safety concerns if the caregiver provides transportation, offers medication reminders, or cares for an aging adult who is at risk without reliable supervision.
While lack of productive sleep is serious, it can be managed. If you are having a difficult time getting enough rest at night, create an environment that is dark, peaceful, and conducive to sleep. Hire a professional respite caregiver or Jefferson County live-in caregiver so you can sleep uninterrupted, and seek medical advice if you still find it difficult to rest.
If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior loved one, know that you don’t have to do it alone—Home Care Assistance can help. In addition to hourly and live-in care, we provide Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care Jefferson County families depend on. Care services are customized to meet the client’s individual needs, care can be adjusted at any time without fees, and our dedicated Care Managers are available 24/7. Call (303) 987-5992 today to learn more.