Adult children often find themselves in the role of caregivers for their aging parents. ers give care- they take care of things. They may pay a parent’s bills, clean their house, do their laundry or prepare their meals. Adult children sometimes become responsible for two homes; theirs and their parents. This new role, can leave caregivers fighting fatigue and forgetting to take care of their own needs, even simple ones such as sleep.
As parents age, they cross the spectrum from caring for their children to needing care from their children. Caregivers are responsible for hiring home care for their parents or find a senior care facility if the responsibility becomes too challenging. Regardless of whether aging parents remain in their own home or in an elderly care facility, caregivers can burn out when sleep deprivation kicks in, which according to Canadian Virtual Hospice, affects 95 percent of people caring for their elders.
Signs of sleep deprivation, according to the Huff Post, include such things as:
- Feeling argumentative
- ClumsyExperiencing forgetfulness
- Losing time or zoning out
- Immediately falling asleep at night
- Falling asleep during the day
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased hunger
Lack of sleep symptoms may only be the first signs that a caregiver is experiencing a sleep disturbance. A sleep disturbance is a change in sleep patterns such as trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep or sleeping at inappropriate times.
Unfortunately, sleep difficulties and lack of sleep can change the care. A caregiver may suffer from a decrease in immunity and be more susceptible to sickness, which can take away time from their parents. When a caregiver is sleep deprived, he may not be able to attend to his parents in a loving way. Instead, he may be irritable or angry or even forgetful. A person suffering extreme fatigue often lets his emotions control the behavior and may find himself tearful, fearful or overly stressed and these do not contribute to healthy care for his parents.
Caregivers need to take care of their own needs if they want to continue to give quality elder care to their parents. A few ways to ensure a better night’s rest include:
- Use a bed-time ritual of dimming the lights, washing the face, brushing the teeth or taking a warm bath.
- Reading a book or listening to relaxing music before bed to calm the mind
- Performing deep breathing techniques and preventing the mind from wandering by concentrating on breathing
- Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and exercise two or three hours before bedtime
- Sleeping and waking at the same time daily
Taking care of parents is one of the most selfless gifts an adult child can give. Throughout the process, adult children also need to respect their own needs and one of the best ways to remain healthy and well is through quality sleep night after night.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional caregivers in Canton, OH, call the caring staff at Rather Be Home Senior Care (330) 526-0483 today!
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