Sleep apnea is a growing concern among the elderly. The condition disrupts sleep schedules, causes daytime drowsiness, and sometimes leads to serious health issues such as heart attacks and strokes. Take a look at some of the best ways older adults can prevent sleep apnea and boost their health and wellbeing.
Focus on Weight Loss
For seniors who are obese, weight loss is one of the most effective ways to enhance sleep quality. Sleep apnea occurs because the airway is blocked during sleep. When people are overweight, they may accrue excess tissue at the back of their throats. During sleep, the tissue can shift position so it blocks the airway and obstructs healthy breathing patterns. One of the best ways to get rid of extra tissue is by losing weight. Seniors should follow an exercise regimen and dietary plan prescribed by their doctor.
Aging adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Give Up Smoking
Smoking can irritate the area surrounding the throat and lead to inflammation, which causes sleep apnea. Seniors who smoke may have had the habit for decades, but this doesn’t mean they can’t give up cigarettes. Older adults who are serious about quitting should talk to their doctors about smoking cessation options like nicotine patches, prescription drugs, and support groups.
Quitting cigarettes is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices seniors should consider. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Ambience In-Home Care, a leading provider of homecare services. Ambience In-Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Don’t Take Sleeping Pills
Seniors at risk for sleep apnea should avoid sleeping pills. Many of these medications cause throat muscles to block the airway and prevent healthy breathing. Seniors who have difficulty falling asleep at night should implement healthy sleeping habits rather than relying on sleeping pills.
Adopt Healthy Sleeping Habits
Practicing good sleep hygiene can mitigate sleep apnea. Seniors should stick to a consistent sleep schedule, as it trains the body to relax and fall asleep quickly. When older adults get eight hours of rest per night, their sleep apnea episodes may decrease. Seniors should also try to sleep on their sides rather than their backs.
Get a Sleep Test
Many seniors are unaware they have sleep apnea. If your loved one experiences some of the signs of sleep apnea, such as daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, repeated nighttime awakenings, and sore throats, he or she should get a diagnosis. Overnight sleep tests are one of the best ways to detect sleep apnea.
Consider Various Treatment Options
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea. CPAP devices are placed over the nose prior to sleep, and they keep the airways open all night long. Oral appliances are another option. These appliances are inserted into the mouth, and they ensure the throat tissues don’t collapse and obstruct the airway.
Caring for older adults with serious health issues is a challenging task that could impact a caregiver’s overall health. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Ambience In-Home Care can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at (469) 573-4213 today.