Why Daytime Sleepiness Might Be a Sign of Health Issues in the Elderly

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Daytime Sleepiness Might Be a Sign of Health Issues in the Elderly in Rockwall, TX

Many people commonly feel fatigued during the afternoon. It’s not unusual for adults to feel tired from overexertion, and some might feel tired secondary to a lack of restful sleep the night before. But approximately 20 percent of seniors experience excessive daytime sleepiness. The generalized fatigue occurs on most days and interferes with normal activities. Chronic daytime sleepiness is often a symptom of underlying health conditions such as the following.

Anemia

Approximately 17 percent of adults over the age of 65 live with some form of anemia. Some cases are caused by insufficient nutrition. Seniors might also experience daytime fatigue if they have low levels of iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12, or vitamin D. Oxygen-carrying red blood cells have a 120-day lifespan. In older adults, bone marrow may not produce enough new blood cells as replacements, which leads to anemia and subsequent fatigue. Laboratory blood tests determine the presence of anemia and the underlying cause. 

If your loved one is excessively tired or sleepy during the day, he or she may need assistance with the tasks of everyday living. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. You 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.

Depression

Depression affects approximately five percent of adults aged 65 or older. Seniors might become depressed secondary to living in isolation. Chemical imbalances may cause chronic forms of the disorder. Older adults living with one or more serious medical conditions may also become depressed. When seniors are depressed, their sleep patterns can become disrupted. Seniors might not be able to sleep restfully at night, which causes daytime drowsiness. However, depression can also have other symptoms, including changes in eating habits and unusual weight loss or gain. Depressed seniors also typically stop enjoying the company of others or engaging in once-favorite activities. Diagnosis by a qualified physician or mental health professional is necessary to determine the appropriate care plan and treatment.

Insufficient Diet

Older adults may not consume the number of calories needed on a daily basis to provide sufficient fuel for the body. The problem may occur due to limited finances, oral health issues, or a desire to lose weight. As such, seniors may skip meals, which causes decreased blood sugar levels and fatigue. By evaluating dietary habits, family members have the ability to determine the problem and intervene to correct the insufficiency. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Rowlett families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Sedentary Lifestyles

People living sedentary lifestyles often experience endless cycles of fatigue and napping. By making a concentrated effort to increase physical activity daily, seniors find they have more energy because nutrient-rich blood circulation increases. Sleep then comes naturally.

Sleep Apnea

A study performed by the National Institute on Aging revealed up to half of seniors over the age of 65 reported having sleep issues and subsequent daytime sleepiness. Problems often occur due to issues in the soft palate that prevent inhalation during sleep. Seniors with sleep apnea often snore loudly and have episodes of ceased breathing followed by gasping for breath. If untreated, the problem can cause other serious medical conditions. Using a CPAP machine or undergoing corrective surgery can remedy the lack of oxygen. 

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving 24-hour care. Rowlett, TX, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (972) 722-7833 today.

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