22 Feb March 2021 – Case Managers
Sleep Challenges for Older Adults
Many know that aging can have a significant affect on sleep which in turn can affect quality of life, but few understand why. Here’s the scoop. In the brain we have a “master clock” that controls our 24-hour cycle which includes, among other things, when we feel awake and sleepy. This “master clock” receives signals from other parts of the body that can affect the cycle. There are many things that can play a part in how the “master clock” functions. Here are some that can affect the “master clock” of older adults:
Light is a key factor that influences our “master clock” and this signal is received through our eyes. We run on a 24-hour cycle because when human biology evolved the only light was natural light. According to the Sleep Foundation, research shows that older people have insufficient exposure to daylight averaging only around one hour per day. Exposure to the light of modern technology can play a part as well including the light from a lamp, TV or the light from a cell phone screen.
Health conditions can affect sleep, pain and discomfort being the most common. Others examples: Nocturia (nighttime urination), Insomnia, daytime drowsiness, Sleep Apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder.
Hormone changes can affect sleep. As we age our bodies secrete less melatonin, the well-loved hormone that helps promote sleep.
Aging itself plays a part. As we age, the part of the brain that houses our “master clock” begins deteriorating which can affect function and sleep.
Substances that we put in our bodies can affect sleep. Some examples include caffeine, alcohol and prescription or non-prescription drugs.
Eating & Drinking too close to bedtime can make for a rough night of sleep. Dinner time tip: Sleep experts recommend leaving three to four hours between dinner and bedtime, there is, however, a bright side to all of this. There are things we can do starting today that can greatly improve our sleep. Check out the list below!
Sleep Tips for Seniors!
- Movement – Older adults who exercise fall asleep faster, sleep longer and have better quality of sleep. Want more information on exercising safely? Visit the National Institute on Aging website or call a case manager. See page 12 for exercise opportunities.
- Be distraction free – Create a sleep space that is free of distractions. Leave the TV, cell phones and bright lights in another room. Moving distracting electronics out of the bedroom can make it less tempting to “just check one more thing.”
- Schedule your sleep – Create a regular sleep schedule of seven to nine hours and stick to it. Don’t believe everything you hear, it’s a myth that older adults need less sleep.
- Bedtime ritual – Develop your bedtime ritual that prepares your body for sleep and follow it each night. It could include a bath, reading or something else quiet.
Example Bedtime Rituals
6:00pm – Finish drinking and eating
8:00pm – Turn off electronics and dim lights
8:05pm – Quiet activity (read, puzzle, needlework)
8:40pm – Personal care & use the bathroom
8:50pm – Pajamas and climb into bed
8:55pm – Silent prayer, affirmation or meditation
9:00pm – Sleep (and dream 🙂
Hello everyone! Do you know what I love about March? Winter is coming to an end! I do enjoy winter around the holidays, but would love for it to wrap up in February. This month I am working on keeping to my sleep schedule!
Be well, Julie Larson, Case Manager
Scams are on the rise. It doesn’t matter how educated, smart or savvy a person is; anyone can become a victim. Scammers connect with victims by phone, email, text, internet, in person visits at your front door, etc. They will prey on your emotions and sound very official and convincing; they sound this way so you will believe them. Scammers can threaten or intimidate victims to make them believe they are in trouble or, scammers will be super nice and befriend victims. They do this to butter victims up before they ask for something, such as money or account numbers.
While we want to continue seeing the good in people, we also need to stay alert. If something doesn’t sound right, it’s probably not. YOU are in charge and you can end any suspicious communication at anytime, for any reason, without feeling bad about it.
The IRS says the best way to avoid falling victim to a scam is knowing how the IRS communicates with taxpayers. The IRS does not send unsolicited texts or emails. The agency also does not call people with threats of jail or lawsuits, nor does it demand tax payments on gift cards.
**Local Scam Alert – MGE customers have reported fraudulent activity that is constantly evolving in the form of phone calls, text messages or in-person contact from impostors claiming to work for MGE. They attempt to collect money for supposed past-due accounts and/or upgrades or repairs to utility meters. Phone scammers give instructions to pay with a prepaid debit card or with a wire transfer and often threaten immediate disconnection. This is not MGE.
Be in the know!
As COVID-19 vaccine distribution continues, be aware of signs of potential scams. According to the FBI website it may be a scam if:
- You are asked to pay out of pocket for a vaccine
- Marketers offer to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment
In addition, be aware of advertisements for vaccines on social media platforms, online, email, telephone calls or from unsolicited/unknown sources.
Remember, anyone can fall victim to a scam. Do not send cash, wire money or send gift cards to anyone you personally do not know. Unfortunately, every year millions of dollars are lost to scammers and often the money is never recovered. For more information and where to report scams, visit:
- www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds by phone at 1-877-382-4357
- https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/reportscam or in Wisconsin call, 414-847-6000
Bath hair don’t care
Olivia will be 11 months old on March 11 and she is ON THE GO! Yup, pretty soon crawling will be just a thing of the past for this girl! Her favorite new thing to say is “eat, eat, eat” and by eat, she means big folks food (no more baby food!) She’s starting to get a second bottom tooth and I’m pretty sure she’s trying to figure out how to climb out of the crib!
Recently I saw a robin outside my office window. Maybe he was confused, but I would rather think of it as a sign of hope.