Challenging Behaviors for the Caregiver
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By Elisabeth A Hinman-Smith M.S.W. & Lisa P. Gwyther M.S.W.
"My husband used to get up often at night and was very confused. I finally got him to rest in his recliner in front of the TV and he calmed down and fell asleep. He seems to feel more secure there than in bed."
* Create a atmosphere that encourages sleep. Try a warm bath, soothing music, warm milk, comfortable blankets and pillows, low lighting.
* Be sure the person gets exercise during the day, especially if fresh air is involved, as weather permits. Try to limit daytime naps.
* Limit caffeine intake during the day - switch to decaffeinated coffee, tea, or sodas. Be sure to take the person to the bathroom just before bedtime.
* If they become restless at night, reassure and coax them back to bed if possible. If restlessness continues, you might try sitting them in comfortable recliner with a radio or TV on softly. Some people find a recliner more secure for sleep than a bed.
* Place a nightlight in the hall and bathroom to provide the person with visual cues to help guide them to and from the bathroom.
* Keep the bedtime routine and morning wake-up time part of the person's regular schedule.
* Use medications with caution. Consult with your physician for suggestions on sleep-aides. . .some over-the-counter remedies may make the person drowsy during daytime and disrupt normal sleep/wake patterns.
(c) copyright 1996
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