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Improving Nursing Home Residents’ Sleep

Residents of Nursing Homes May Have Sleep Problems Solved

A new study aims to bring better sleep to nursing home residents with Telecare. By employing bed occupancy sensors, floor sensors or enuresis sensors, Telecare allows for older peoples’ sleep to be monitored. It is traditionally used by older people in their own homes, but it could be greatly beneficial for nursing homes as well.

Staffing levels, shift patterns, and safety checks all reduce the ability of residents to get the proper amount of sleep they need for their health, according to the study’s findings. The research was conducted in 3 nursing homes and 1 residential care home, in order to get a large sample size.

Highlights of the findings include:

-The bedtime of residents was affected by how many staff members were on duty. A person may end up in bed early because the day shift had more workers to lift him or her into bed.

-Care homes often implemented nightly checkups, with staff briefly visiting residents– sometimes hourly– which caused sleep disruptions.

-Residents avoided reported sleep problems out of fear of being prescribed sleep medication.

-Physical disabilities caused problems with getting comfortable enough to fall asleep.

-Residents were encouraged not to get up independently at night for walks or a drink of water, to decrease the risk of falling.

The study suggests that more communication is needed between day staff, night staff and residents to improve nursing home residents’ quality of sleep. Telecare could be a successful tool in helping to lower sleep disruptions, and direct staff to where they are needed most.

As we age, we still need sleep even though it may be more difficult to achieve. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to developing Alzheimer’s disease by numerous studies. But, with the wealth of research being conducted about sleep, we find out more ways to help ourselves, seemingly everyday. If you find that you sleep is disrupted, ensure that you sleep with your doctor to find a remedy!

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