What Can You Do about Nighttime Anxiety?
Anxiety in the middle of the night can be severe enough to keep your senior from sleeping or even severe enough to wake her up. Here are some possible solutions.
Make Sure Mobility Tools Are Accessible
Assistive devices and mobility tools are necessary items, of course, but they’re equally necessary at night. Part of your senior’s nighttime anxiety might be worry that she won’t have what she needs overnight when she needs it most. It can be a good idea to have duplicate mobility items available, like a second cane next to the bed where your senior can easily reach it. Make sure that those items are easy to access and that they don’t become a mobility hazard when they’re not in use.
Put Some Subtle Lighting to Work
Another frequent source of anxiety overnight is being unable to see what’s happening. Nightlights that aren’t very bright are a good idea, especially if they use motion sensing technology to slightly brighten the light when your senior moves closer to the nightlight. You may also want to consider putting a small but bright flashlight next to your senior’s bed. Use one that has a wide beam of light so that she can easily see where she’s going.
Investigate Which Noises Are Helping and Which Aren’t
For some people, noise is the problem. Either there’s too much of it, usually from outside, or the house becomes too silent. Using thicker, noise-dampening window treatments and rugs inside the house can help. Double-check that seals around windows and doors are also good, because that can be another spot where sound leaks in. If the problem is that her home is too quiet at night, your elderly family member might find that leaving a radio on or using a white noise machine is very helpful. A noise machine can also help to blot out sounds from outside.
Consider Overnight Help
Whether or not you and your senior live in the same home, overnight anxiety on your senior’s part may have some negative impacts on your own ability to sleep. If you live apart, she may call you at night, and that can be anxiety-inducing for you.
Hiring home care providers for overnight stays with your elderly family member can help her to feel safer and may be what you need to be able to sleep well. Home care providers can handle whatever your senior needs, and you know they’ll contact you for a true emergency.
If anxiety at night is a big problem for your senior, talk with her doctor. There may be more going on than either you or she are aware of and that can rule out medical causes.
If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Danville, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Walnut Creek. (925) 203-3039.