Home Care Blog | September 15, 2016
Quality Home Care Services | Sleep apnea occurs when the airway collapses while an individual is sleeping. Since the airway is closed, the person cannot breathe. As a result, the person goes without air until they wake up gasping for breath. This can occur dozens of even hundreds of times during the course of a night’s sleep. If not treated, the sleep apnea greatly increases the risk of hypertension, congestive heart failure, stroke and coronary artery disease.
More seniors suffer from sleep apnea than those of other age groups and most of them, upwards of 70 percent, are overweight or obese. In fact, one of the greatest things that a senior can do to reduce their risk of sleep apnea, or do to improve their life if they already suffer from it, is to lose weight.
If your senior loved one suffers from sleep apnea and is overweight, quality home care services can help them find an exercise regimen and diet that will safely cut down the pounds. They will also be with your loved one through the weight loss process to provide the physical, social, and emotional support needed to successfully stick with the program long term. Of course, if your senior loved one does not yet have sleep apnea, quality home care services can also help them lose weight to greatly reduce the risk of going down that terrible road.
Seniors with sleep apnea may have to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device to keep their airways open at night. Many seniors have trouble fitting the devices, cleaning them, or simply remembering to use them. This is particularly true when diseases like arthritis or an auto-immune disorder makes fine motor movements painful, or when a senior is dealing with depression, dementia, or Parkinson’s. In these cases, quality home care services are able to help your loved one prepare for bed, fit the mask, and properly care for it.
Sleep apnea can cause numerous problems beyond simple fatigue. By keeping the weight down and following a proper sleep routine, seniors do not have to live with the constant sleepiness sleep apnea brings with it. Further, by sleeping better through the night and napping less during the day, your senior loved one can maximize their independence and quality of life.