A Look at Elderly Insomnia

Sleep is vitally important. Sleep underscores our health and vitality, and without it we’re left exhausted and worn down. Seniors can be more affected by insomnia than other groups, so it’s important to know how to get a good night sleep and what can be done about elderly insomnia.

It’s a common myth that seniors need less sleep as they age. In reality, we still need 7 to 9 hours every day. What does change is the timing of our sleep cycles. Older adults tend to get tired earlier in the day and wake up earlier as a result.

What Causes Insomnia

The National Institute of Health has reported that almost half of all people over age 60 experience some insomnia. Here are some of the main causes of sleeplessness:

  • Medication side effects
  • Chronic pain from arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Sleep-related breathing disorders, like snoring and sleep apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome, which causes unpleasant sensations of itching and crawling

Working with your doctor is the best way to address elderly insomnia. Your doctor will review your sleep habits and may ask you to keep a sleep diary to track your sleep and wake times. Your doctor may also order a sleep study where you stay overnight in a clinic while medical staff measure your vital signs.

Insomnia Treatments

Your doctor will work with you to develop a healthy sleep plan, which may include adjusting your medication to help solve your sleep issues.

Some effective insomnia treatments include cognitive behavior therapy, mindfulness meditation, and exercise. There are also some supplements, like chamomile and melatonin, which can be effective in treating insomnia, although their long-term effects aren’t known. Finally, your doctor may prescribe a medication to address your sleeplessness, like Ramelteon or Trazodone.

It’s important for seniors to avoid relying on over-the-counter sleep aids. Studies have found these medications can impact brain function and increase risk of cognitive decline.

So far we’ve covered the main causes and treatments of insomnia in adults. As always, consult with your doctor to find out what’s causing you to lose sleep and experience restless nights.

Did you know that sleeplessness can lead to impaired cognitive function and is a known cause of falls? If you or a loved one is experiencing elder insomnia turn to EasyCall. EasyCall can provide the peace of mind that help is nearby in the event of an emergency. Learn more today.

Falls Prevention Awareness Day Reminds Us Safety is Everyone’s Job

Saturday, Sept. 22 is National Fall Prevention Awareness Day. National, state, and local partners collaborate to educate others about the impact of falls, share fall prevention strategies, and advocate for the expansion of evidence-based community fall prevention programs.

Falls are the leading cause of injury and accidental death in adults over the age of 65. Clutter and other tripping hazards, poor balance, and distractions can all cause a person to stumble and fall.

Some people become so afraid of falling (or after an actual fall) that they stop doing activities they used to enjoy. The following tips were shared by occupational therapy practitioners to help older adults reduce their risk of falls.

To reduce your risk of falling you can:

  • Remove clutter in your home, and walk carefully when there are potential hazards, such as throw rugs and pets underfoot.
  • Never stand on chairs or similar items to get to something you can’t reach. Ask for help, or use a sturdy stool with a handrail or a ladder.
  • Do not use towel bars, sink edges, etc. for support because they could come away from the wall.
  • Use a nightlight in the bedroom and bathroom.
  • Immediately wipe spills off the floor, and use a rubber-backed bathmat to prevent the bathroom floor from getting wet. Even a small amount of water can lead to a slip.
  • Stay active to maintain overall strength, endurance, and balance.
  • Know your limitations. If there is a task you cannot easily complete, do not risk a fall by trying to do it.

Unfortunately, falls do happen despite our best efforts. In the event of an emergency, you can know help is always near with EasyCall.

One push of the EasyCall button and you’ll be speaking with a trained dispatcher who will send medical services and alert your family. It’s that easy.

Learn more about EasyCall today.
Learn more about the National Fall Prevention Awareness Day.

What You Need to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself needing help with everyday tasks, like dressing and bathing?

If you or a loved one has experienced a significant change in health, you could be facing the prospect of long-term care and along with it significant costs.

Long-term care insurance offers a way to afford often costly in-home care services. But there are still many questions about this form of insurance. This guide will help you understand important aspects of long-term care insurance and help you decide whether it’s right for you.

What is Long-Term Care Insurance

On-going care costs can add up quickly. Long-term care insurance offsets the costs of in-home care from nurses, home health aids or therapists.

Long-Term Care Insurance Can Be Expensive

In 2016, Pennsylvania insurers tried to hit their customers with 130 percent spikes in their long-term care insurance premiums. The state responded by capping the amount a provider could raise its premiums to 20 percent. Regardless, the rate hikes were a major hit to seniors’ budgets.

When to Buy a Policy?

The American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance says most people start planning between ages 52 and 64. As with most forms of medical-related insurance, starting earlier could mean lower premiums.

Consider Other Options

Some insurance companies offer short-term care insurance, which is often limited to one year. These plans can be able to older seniors who otherwise might not be eligible for long-term coverage.

Some life insurance providers are also offering long-term care options that pay out a percentage of their death benefit over a period of time.

Health savings accounts can offset the costs of long-term care by letting people set aside money for medical-related expenses on a tax-free basis. These accounts are sometimes called health IRAs.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your financial advisor and family about what plan works best for you. Long-term care insurance can be a good option, but for those wary of costs, looking for other ways to pay for care might be a better choice.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your independence and have the peace of mind of knowing help is always near, get EasyCall, your personal medical response system.

With EasyCall you can create a custom response plan. With one push of the button, our highly trained dispatchers will assist you in getting the help you need right away.

EasyCall Celebrates National Assisted Living Week

Monday, Sept. 10 kicks off National Assisted Living Week. We salute our friends and neighbors who provide outstanding care to seniors! EasyCall is a proud partner in the effort to keep seniors healthy and active.

In McKinleyville, Timber Ridge celebrates the week with a bio-degradable balloon release. Positive messages will fill each balloon. And Humboldt County Supervisor Ryan Sundberg presides over the festivities.

Redwood News has more on the story at their website.

The goal of National Assisted Living Week is to help seniors live life to its fullest. EasyCall can help maintain your independence and keep you living the life you want.

Learn more about EasyCall today.