When their airways become blocked or constricted during sleep, seniors may stop breathing and experience sleep apnea. It’s important for seniors and their caregivers to learn as much about sleep apnea as possible, including ways to prevent it. Here are some suggestions on how to prevent sleep apnea in the golden years.
Smoking can lead to serious health consequences, including a high risk of developing sleep apnea. Consuming tobacco products increases fluid retention and inflammation in the throat and neck, which reduces the amount of space in the airways. When the nicotine from cigarettes and other tobacco products causes inflammation in the oral cavity, it can worsen sleep apnea symptoms. To prevent sleep apnea, older adults need to stop smoking immediately.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Drinking alcoholic beverages in the senior years can lead to sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders. Alcohol impacts the ability to breathe and makes breaths shallower. If seniors are already experiencing sleep apnea, drinking alcohol can make the disorder worse. It’s important for aging adults to limit their alcohol consumption. If your loved one continues to drink alcohol, encourage him or her to drink red wine, as it can have positive effects on sleeping patterns, memory, and circulation.
Consider Taking Medications
It’s fairly common for aging adults to take multiple medications to treat existing health issues. However, the medications could have side effects and cause other health disorders, including sleep apnea. Some medications cause irregular breathing, while others temporarily stop breathing altogether. Check with the doctor to determine if your loved one’s medication is causing sleep apnea. The doctor can find alternative treatments to boost your loved one’s overall health.
From attending doctors’ appointments to cleaning their homes, older adults may need help with several tasks. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Waterloo respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
Due to poor eating habits and lack of exercise, many seniors become obese. Being overweight interferes with a senior’s chest movement during sleep. To prevent obesity, make healthy foods accessible for your loved one. Lowering your loved one’s BMI could decrease his or her risk of sleep apnea. Make sure he or she avoids eating unhealthy snacks and drinking water or other beverages prior to bedtime. Your loved one should also engage in moderate exercise a few days each week. Losing extra body fat can prevent the lungs from compressing and becoming shallow, allowing sufficient breathing during the day and at nighttime.
By making healthy lifestyle choices, older adults can lower their risk of sleep apnea. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Waterloo Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (519) 954-2111.