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Sleep Disorders and Sexual Behaviors

 

This ElderCare Skill Builderä is intended to give the eldercaregiver background information on special skills that caregivers may need on a daily basis. While these guides are primarily intended for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s Disease, they can be used for any frail or dependent elderly person. When caring for an elderly loved one, always treat them as an adult, with dignity and respect.

You should use this guide for educational purposes and as a supplement to any professional training, guidance from a home care provider, or instructions from a qualified health care professional. As a caregiver, you will likely be the first to notice any important changes in physical attributes, eating habits or health status. Please notify a qualified health professional immediately if you notice any changes.

Sleep Disorders and Sundowning

   Sleep Disorders Tips and Techniques

      Trouble Sleeping

      Sleep Too Much

      Sundowning Tips and Techniques

Sexual Behavior

   Possible Causes For Perceived Sexual Behavior

   Tips and Techniques

Sleep Disorders and Sundowning

Sleep Disorders Tips and Techniques

People with Alzheimer’s Disease may sleep too much, or may have trouble sleeping. Here are some techniques to try:

        Trouble Sleeping

  1. Remove stimulants such as caffeine, refined sugar, heavy foods and chocolate from the diet, especially at night.
  2. Keep the bedroom quiet with a comfortable temperature.
  3. No naps should be allowed after 3pm.
  4. A walk or a ride in the car or a snack just before bedtime may help create sleepiness.
  5. Sleeping medicine should be a last resort and given only under the supervision of a physician.
  6.  

    Sleep Too Much

  7. Help sleepy people stay awake with scheduled activities, exercise, upbeat music, interactions with others and being near activity.

Sundowning Tips and Techniques

The pacing and muttering of sundowning can cause problems in some settings. To lessen the activity, try the following:

  1. Try to provide activity because if there is nothing to do, sundowning can persist for a long time.
  2. Turn on lamps to avoid shadows.
  3. If possible, provide a quiet space. Perhaps late afternoon could be a time for listening to music or watching television.
  4. Make sure the area is as safe as possible, and permit some pacing and muttering.

Sexual Behavior

Possible Causes For Perceived Sexual Behavior

  • Fatigue.
  • Need to go to the bathroom.
  • Side effects of medication.
  • Disruption of sleep patterns.
  • Loss of judgement due to memory loss.
  • Room temperature that is too hot or too cold.
  • Misinterpretation of environment.
  • Triggering of sensations during bathing.
  • Disorientation to new surroundings.
  • Misinterpretation of a caregiver’s touch or activity.
  • The need for touch and affection.
  • Lack of privacy.
  • Clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable.
  • Boredom.
  • The person may have been a "flirt" all his life.

Tips and Techniques

Behavior that is seen as sexual may instead be misunderstood. Try some of the following suggestions:

  1. Look for clues that the person may need to go to the bathroom.
  2. Check clothing to see if it is too tight or uncomfortable.
  3. Check the room temperature – is it too hot?
  4. Try to keep the routine and environment consistent.
  5. Distract with food, drink, a walk or other activity.
  6. Respond in a matter-of-fact tone.
  7. Sometimes ignoring remarks or behavior is effective.
  8. Provide gentle touch, appropriate affection.
  9. Encourage family members to show affection – holding or touching. (This may be all that the elder is looking for.)
  10. Try to avoid reprimanding, reasoning or rationalizing.
  11. Look for specific times this behavior occurs (bath time, bed time, etc.)
  12. Gently guide the person to another area.

  

Available from ElderCare Online™                  www.ec-online.net                 ©1998 Prism Innovations, Inc.

 

Skill Builder: Sleep Disorders and Sexual Behaviors

 

This ElderCare Skill Builderä is intended to give the eldercaregiver background information on special skills that caregivers may need on a daily basis. While these guides are primarily intended for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s Disease, they can be used for any frail or dependent elderly person. When caring for an elderly loved one, always treat them as an adult, with dignity and respect.

You should use this guide for educational purposes and as a supplement to any professional training, guidance from a home care provider, or instructions from a qualified health care professional. As a caregiver, you will likely be the first to notice any important changes in physical attributes, eating habits or health status. Please notify a qualified health professional immediately if you notice any changes.

Sleep Disorders and Sundowning

   Sleep Disorders Tips and Techniques

      Trouble Sleeping

      Sleep Too Much

      Sundowning Tips and Techniques

Sexual Behavior

   Possible Causes For Perceived Sexual Behavior

   Tips and Techniques

Sleep Disorders and Sundowning

Sleep Disorders Tips and Techniques

People with Alzheimer’s Disease may sleep too much, or may have trouble sleeping. Here are some techniques to try:

        Trouble Sleeping

  1. Remove stimulants such as caffeine, refined sugar, heavy foods and chocolate from the diet, especially at night.
  2. Keep the bedroom quiet with a comfortable temperature.
  3. No naps should be allowed after 3pm.
  4. A walk or a ride in the car or a snack just before bedtime may help create sleepiness.
  5. Sleeping medicine should be a last resort and given only under the supervision of a physician.
  6.  

    Sleep Too Much

  7. Help sleepy people stay awake with scheduled activities, exercise, upbeat music, interactions with others and being near activity.

Sundowning Tips and Techniques

The pacing and muttering of sundowning can cause problems in some settings. To lessen the activity, try the following:

  1. Try to provide activity because if there is nothing to do, sundowning can persist for a long time.
  2. Turn on lamps to avoid shadows.
  3. If possible, provide a quiet space. Perhaps late afternoon could be a time for listening to music or watching television.
  4. Make sure the area is as safe as possible, and permit some pacing and muttering.

Sexual Behavior

Possible Causes For Perceived Sexual Behavior

  • Fatigue.
  • Need to go to the bathroom.
  • Side effects of medication.
  • Disruption of sleep patterns.
  • Loss of judgement due to memory loss.
  • Room temperature that is too hot or too cold.
  • Misinterpretation of environment.
  • Triggering of sensations during bathing.
  • Disorientation to new surroundings.
  • Misinterpretation of a caregiver’s touch or activity.
  • The need for touch and affection.
  • Lack of privacy.
  • Clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable.
  • Boredom.
  • The person may have been a "flirt" all his life.

Tips and Techniques

Behavior that is seen as sexual may instead be misunderstood. Try some of the following suggestions:

  1. Look for clues that the person may need to go to the bathroom.
  2. Check clothing to see if it is too tight or uncomfortable.
  3. Check the room temperature – is it too hot?
  4. Try to keep the routine and environment consistent.
  5. Distract with food, drink, a walk or other activity.
  6. Respond in a matter-of-fact tone.
  7. Sometimes ignoring remarks or behavior is effective.
  8. Provide gentle touch, appropriate affection.
  9. Encourage family members to show affection – holding or touching. (This may be all that the elder is looking for.)
  10. Try to avoid reprimanding, reasoning or rationalizing.
  11. Look for specific times this behavior occurs (bath time, bed time, etc.)
  12. Gently guide the person to another area.

  

Available from ElderCare Online™                www.ec-online.net               ©1998 Prism Innovations, Inc.