Understanding the Dangers of Sleep Medications for Seniors

Posted on

Dec 22, 2021

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Theres just nothing that compares with the feeling of waking up after a good nights sleep, feeling energized and ready to face the day. Yet for many seniors as many as one in three of them getting enough sleep is something that only happens in their dreams. And sadly, its acommon misconceptionthat insufficient sleep is something we just need to accept as we grow older an assumption that Preeti Malani, M.D., chief health officer and professor of medicine at the University of Michigan wants to correct.According to Dr. Malani, If older adults believe that these changes are a normal, inevitable part of aging, they may not think of it as something to discuss with their doctor. And not discussing it can potentially lead to health issues not being identified and managed.
Instead of tossing and turning each night, almost half of older adults experiencing sleeping problems are turning to sleeping medications a habit that can be extremely dangerous as we age. Sleep medications for seniors can double the risk of falls and broken bones, due to the increased dizziness and disorientation they are known to often cause. Older adults are often also at risk of becoming dependent on sleeping medications. And, the risk for car accidents may increase as well, according to Consumer Reports Choosing Wisely campaign.
To take it a step further, the concern even includes herbal remedies and supplements as well, which place older adults at risk for a number of additional negative health problems. Even something as seemingly harmless as melatonin can react negatively with other common meds, such as those for diabetes and high blood pressure, leading to dizziness and nausea.
A senior having sleep problems should instead talk with his or her primary care physician to rule out any underlying conditions (including depression, anxiety, restless leg syndrome, and heart disease, just to name a few) and to get his or her recommendation on how to safely improve sleep. Several safe alternatives include:

Cutting back on the amount of caffeine and alcohol consumed, particularly later in the day and evening
Making sure all electronic devices are kept out of the bedroom, and ensuring the room is cool and dark
Establishing a sleeping routine and sticking to it, going to sleep and awakening at the same time every day
Exploring the services of a professional sleep therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy

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13 Apps Seniors Need for Convenience and Health

In an age where technology is rapidly shaping our daily lives, its important to recognize that the benefits of digital innovation are not limited to a specific generation. Seniors are often overlooked in the fast-paced world of app development and technology. However, seniors are starting to discover the advantages of convenience apps designed to enhance their lives.These applications have the power to simplify tasks, increase access to essential services, and improve seniors independence. In this article, we will explore a range of convenience apps tailored to the unique needs and preferences of seniors, shedding light on the digital tools that are helping them lead more comfortable, connected, and fulfilling lives.Best Multifunctional Apps for Seniors A number of multifunctional apps have emerged as helpful tools for seniors. These tools offer a wide array of benefits that can enhance seniors daily lives. They also empower seniors to maintain their independence, especially if they are aging in place. Below are some of these useful multifunctional apps for seniors.GoGoGrandparentPhoto credit: GoGo GrandparentGoGoGrandparent is an over-the-phone service that helps seniors access apps for transportation, groceries, meals, medication delivery, household chores, and more. This service screens and monitors services from Uber, Instacart, DoorDash, and other companies to ensure the senior gets their needs met. With this tool, seniors can schedule rides, get groceries and meals delivered, hire someone to do household tasks, and have their prescriptions delivered straight to their home. For a senior who has difficulty driving or moving around, these services can be invaluable. By calling the phone number no smartphone required the senior can select the service they are looking for, and GoGoGrandparent will coordinate the request. An operator is available at all times to help the senior if they need it.There are different GoGoGrandparent membership packages available depending on how often the senior wishes to use the service. The most basic plan best for occasional usage is $10.39 a month. There are also three other plans available with increasing levels of services.Life360Photo credit: Life 360Life360 is the #1 family locator app and safety membership. In fact, 1 in 9 families use Life360 in the U.S. This app allows families to track one anothers locations along with location histories, arrival alerts, and emergency dispatch. It also provides driving safety services with crash detection and roadside assistance. This type of service is helpful for all families to have peace of mind about everyones safety. It is especially beneficial for seniors whose families may worry about their whereabouts, safety, and location. Google HomePhoto credit: Google HomeThe Google Home system and its accompanying app have proven to be immensely helpful tools for seniors by making everyday tasks more accessible and convenient. Through voice commands, seniors can effortlessly set reminders for medication, appointments, or important events, and access a wealth of information, from weather updates to news headlines. The app, which can be installed on smartphones or tablets, provides an intuitive interface for managing various aspects of their Google Home devices. Whether its adjusting thermostat settings, playing music, or making hands-free phone calls, Google Home offers seniors an accessible and user-friendly way to stay connected and manage their environment. This ultimately contributes to a greater sense of independence and comfort in their daily lives.Amazon AlexaPhoto credit: Amazon AlexaThe Amazon Alexa and the accompanying app are a virtual assistant technology that simplifies seniors daily routines and enhances their quality of life. With voice-activated commands, seniors can effortlessly control smart devices, set reminders, and access a plethora of information. From playing music to providing health tips, the Amazon Alexa helps seniors maintain their independence while enjoying the convenience of a voice-activated digital assistant.Ride Hailing Apps for SeniorsRide-hailing apps have emerged as lifelines for seniors who no longer drive or do not have easy access to transportation. These apps offer a user-friendly and convenient way to secure reliable rides to medical appointments, social gatherings, or everyday errands. For seniors, this newfound mobility can significantly enhance their quality of life. Having a mode of transportation helps seniors access the essential services they need, and allows them to stay connected to friends and family. Socializing is key for seniors mental and physical well-being, and having access to transportation helps make that possible. Below are some apps seniors can use to find reliable transportation.Uber and Uber AssistPhoto credit: Phone ArenaUber is one of the most well-known ride sharing apps. It can be found in every state in the US along with 10,000 cities in 72 countries around the world. In 2021, Uber reported having approximately 100,000 drivers in the state of Florida. Seniors can enter their desired destination, and an Uber driver will come pick them up and bring them where they want to go.One tool for seniors who need more help is Uber Assist. This rideshare program provides special assistance for people who might need extra assistance, including those who are older, less mobile, or have disabilities. Drivers for Uber Assist have been specially trained on helping these riders into vehicles and loading and unloading assistive devices. Seniors can access Uber Assist in the regular Uber app, as long as the service is available in the area. After entering the desired destination, simply select Assist at the bottom of the screen. This service is also available for caregivers and family members who request a ride for a senior. And, you can even schedule an Uber Assist ride in advance on the app. Uber Assist is currently available in 40 cities.    Lyft and LivelyPhoto credit: LyftLyft is another major ridesharing app. Lyft works the same as Uber people can input their desired destinations, and a car will pick them up and bring them where they wish to go. Lyft is available in all 50 states as well as 72 countries. They also offer discounted rides for low-income families and seniors to access healthy food through their Lyft Up program. Lyft has partnered with Lively to create a service just for seniors who have Jitterbug phones. Seniors can simply dial 0 on their Jitterbug phone to be connected with an operator who will schedule a ride for them. This service is available anywhere Lyft operates.Grocery and Meal Delivery Apps for SeniorsGrocery and meal delivery apps can be life changing for seniors, ensuring they have access to fresh food and prepared meals without the challenges of in-person shopping or cooking. These apps allow seniors to conveniently browse, select, and order groceries or meals from the comfort of their own homes. With doorstep delivery, seniors no longer need to worry about transportation or navigating busy stores, which can be particularly taxing for some. In fact, seniors are using food delivery services at record-breaking rates. A recent study found that in 2020, 1 in 4 seniors ordered groceries or food delivery.This technology not only simplifies seniors daily routines but also contributes to their overall well-being, offering a lifeline for those who may have limited mobility or want to avoid crowded public spaces. Food delivery tools are another way seniors can maintain their independence and quality of life. Below are some of the most prominent.InstacartPhoto credit: InstacartInstacart is a grocery delivery service that allows you to shop from your favorite grocery stores with your computer or mobile device. Simply add items to your cart and schedule your preferred delivery time, which can be as fast an hour, or even several days in advance. Then, a shopper will gather your items and deliver them straight to your door.Instacart even has a special Senior Support Service for customers over age 60. With this service, Instacart specialists help customers who may need additional assistance to set up their accounts and place grocery orders. The Senior Support Line is available in the U.S. and Canada at 18449813433, daily from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. ET. Amazon Prime and Whole Foods deliveryPhoto credit: Food Business NewsWith over 200 million members, Amazon Prime has become an exceedingly popular service. Amazon Prime is a great tool for seniors to get household items delivered straight to their home. They can even schedule the items for repeat delivery so they never need to worry about reordering items. One useful feature that comes with Amazon Prime is Whole Foods delivery. For $9.95, Amazon Prime members in select regions can order Whole Foods groceries via Amazon.com or the Amazon app, and schedule them for same-day or next-day delivery to their home. Customers can also order Whole Foods groceries for curbside pickup at no additional cost. Grocery pickup is available at 500 Whole Foods stores in the US.UberEatsPhoto credit: UberEatsFor seniors who are already familiar with the Uber app, UberEats can be a great way to have meals delivered from their favorite restaurants. The companys food-delivery platform is similar to its rideshare platform, which can be helpful to streamline the experience for seniors. DoorDashPhoto credit: AllrecipesDoorDash is widely considered the most popular food delivery service in the US. Available in about 7,000 cities, DoorDash delivers food from more than 300,000 restaurants. 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A Glimpse Into Senior Care Trends

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Dont ignore snoring!

nsufficient or low-quality sleep may be more than an annoyance. It can be a major health concern meriting a visit to your general practitioner or a sleep specialist. Difficulty sleeping that impairs activities of daily living and lasts greater than three months meets the clinical definition of insomnia. One of the more prevalent causes of insomnia is obstructive sleep apnea, which is a major reason for snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) means an obstructive episode resulted in respiratory effort and at least a 30% decrease in airflow for 10 seconds or greater resulting in oxygen desaturation in the blood of 4% of greater.The problems from OSA are associated with a host of negative health, social, and occupational consequences, some of which include:Daytime sleepinessReduced work productivityReduced concentrationSocial isolation and lonelinessRisk factor for DementiaExercise has long been associated with better sleep. [1] Despite surprisingly little experimental research involving patients with significant sleep disturbance or sleep disorders, the available evidence suggests that exercise holds promise as a nonpharmacologic therapy for adults with poor or disordered sleep. [2]Exercise seems to improve sleep quality and sleep continuity. Even in the case of OSA, exercise can reduce the symptoms. If chronic problems with sleep are an issue, please consider getting evaluated. Remember that exercise is good medicine.[1] Youngstedt SD, Kline CE. Epidemiology of exercise and sleep. Sleep Biol Rhythms. 2006; 4:215221.[2] Buman MP, King AC. Exercise as a treatment to enhance sleep. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2010; 4:500514.