Sleep does so much for your senior’s body and that’s never more apparent than when she’s not getting the sleep that she needs. Here are just a few of the issues your senior might experience.
Your Senior Might Have Trouble Regulating Her Moods
Mood regulation is something that your senior might have trouble with for other reasons. But if she’s not sleeping well, it’s even more difficult for her to accurately regulate her moods. There are multiple levels of this, which is important to understand. There are the emotions your senior is experiencing, but then there are the chemicals her body produces in relation to those emotions. When she’s not getting enough sleep, your senior’s brain has a tough time producing the right chemicals to match up with what she’s feeling and doing.
She Might Have Trouble with Her Memory
Memory is notoriously faulty when sleep is hindered. Your elderly family member might even worry that her memory issues are related to illnesses that she would rather avoid, including permanent cognitive changes that would have a huge impact on her life. Short-term memory has to be “processed” by the brain and converted to long-term memory storage. Not sleeping interferes with that process and causes your senior to experience gaps with her memory that can be scary.
Her Body Might Give Her Other Trouble, Too
But it’s not just mental processes that suffer from lack of sleep. Your senior’s body starts to “forget” how to be a body, too. She might find that she’s a lot less able to control her body’s motions or know where her body is in terms of the space around her. That’s called proprioception, and catching up on sleep allows your senior’s brain and body to reconnect and to start operating in a cooperative manner again. Lack of proprioception can be dangerous for her, because it leaves her at higher risk of experiencing a fall.
Mental Health Issues Can Become Exacerbated
All of these issues combined with lack of sleep can cause mental health issues to fire up. This is especially true if your senior has been prone to difficulties with mental health in the past, too. Depression can ramp up quickly, for instance, and if your senior is facing other mental health issues, they can flare up because she’s not getting the sleep that she needs.
Having a caregiver at home with her can give your senior the help that she needs to sort out what’s causing her to have trouble sleeping. From there you can help her to put solutions in place.
If you or an aging loved one needs a Caregiver in Rancho Cordova, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.