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Is Excessive Sleepiness Related to Dementia in Older Adults?

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Any significant change in your senior loved one’s behavior should be cause for concern, and being extremely sleepy during the day could be a sign something is going on with his or her health. Seniors with dementia sometimes experience changes in their sleep patterns, but being sleepy during the day doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one has this condition. Learn more about why excessive sleepiness happens so you can tell if you need to have your loved one talk about dementia with a doctor.

Why Excessive Sleeping Occurs During Late-Stage Dementia

Most seniors with dementia don’t experience major changes in their sleep habits during the earliest stages of the disease. However, seniors in the later stages do tend to sleep more during the day, which can be attributed to them getting less sleep at night. Dementia may cause your loved one to have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Seniors in the middle to late stages may also wake up extremely early and be confused about the current time and place. As the disease progresses, even simple activities begin to take up large amounts of energy. For example, seniors with dementia may feel mentally exhausted after trying to have a brief conversation, which could cause them to sleep more.

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. Edmonton families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Other Common Causes for Seniors Sleeping Too Much

If your loved one seems to be sleeping too much, it’s important to avoid jumping to conclusions. It’s possible the change in sleep habits is caused by other changes, such as a new medication side effect. Your loved one may also be depressed or failing to get enough sleep at night. Malnutrition is another condition that lowers energy.

How to Find Out if a Senior Has Dementia

Since sleep changes can happen for many reasons, it’s best to talk to a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor may perform some assessments to check for dementia and discuss other things with your loved one to determine if something else may be making him or her so tired. If your loved one does have dementia, you can then begin to make a plan to help him or her stay safe at home. Seniors with daytime sleepiness associated with dementia are at a higher risk of having an accident, and your loved one may need more supervision at home.

Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Edmonton, AB, families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores.

Ways to Keep Seniors More Alert During the Day

Seniors who are in the late stages of dementia may need to be encouraged to sleep during the day as long as it doesn’t affect their rest at night, because the changes in the brain make it extremely taxing to handle many daily tasks. Seniors who are in the earlier stages of dementia may feel more alert when they follow a regular sleep schedule and have plenty of activities to keep them busy during the day. 

A dedicated and reliable home caregiver can keep your loved one engaged and assist with the various challenges of living with dementia. If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors. To schedule a complimentary consultation, call (780) 977-7379 today.