Even though Parkinson’s disease is primarily thought of as a condition affecting motor skills, there are other symptoms seniors can experience that often go overlooked. For instance, Parkinson’s can affect your senior loved one’s ability to get a good night’s rest. Summit elder care experts discuss a few ways you can help your loved one battle sleeplessness resulting from this disease
Encourage Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Most specialists will first suggest your loved one should make some basic lifestyle changes before moving on to medication or other major treatments. This includes limiting caffeine intake, exercising earlier in the day, and setting a strict sleep schedule. Seniors with Parkinson’s should also consider sleeping with as few pillows and blankets as possible. Getting in and out of a bed filled with linens often requires extra work, which can make it more difficult to get back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night
Review Your Loved One’s Medication Dosages
Take a fresh look at your loved one’s current medication with his or her doctor. In some cases, there are unusual interactions with the different forms of medication, and slight alterations could make your loved one more comfortable at night. It is important to remember your loved one should never alter doses without first speaking to his or her doctor.
Suggest the Use of Dopaminergic Agents
Many specialists recommend seniors with Parkinson’s should take a dopaminergic agent even if they are not having trouble sleeping. This class of medication has been shown to help with a wide variety of Parkinson’s side effects by increasing motor functions. At night, these agents allow the body to produce dopamine, a natural chemical essential to restorative sleep.
Limit Your Loved One’s Liquids at Night
Also called nocturia, frequent urination at night is a very common side effect of Parkinson’s disease. While it is important for seniors receiving Parkinson’s care in Summit to stay well hydrated to keep their liver healthy, those with nocturia should attempt to limit their liquid consumption for at least two or three hours before bed
Since seniors with Parkinson’s are at increased risk for sleep-related conditions, your loved one may need someone to help monitor the symptoms of insomnia. At Home Care Assistance, our part-time and live-in caregivers can help with this as well as assist with many tasks that can be challenging for seniors with Parkinson’s, including cooking, bathing, and exercise. In addition to Parkinson’s care, we also offer specialized stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care Summit families trust. Call one of our qualified Care Managers today at 908.450.9400 to learn more and to schedule a no-obligation consultation.