Care home residents require constant care. Even when the lights are off, and they’re sleeping, the facility they’re with should still provide for them.
Unfortunately, many express concerns about moving into care homes for various reasons. There can be a lack of trust from the start. Of course, one of the bigger grievances is being unable to sleep in one’s own bed. There can be a lot of comfort from that familiar sense of snugness, and some people may even envision themselves passing away beneath their duvets when it’s time.
So, there’s a lot of pressure to ensure care home residents get a better night’s sleep. If you run one of these facilities yourself, you should know there are ways to ensure that will happen. Read on for the most effective strategies for that aim.
Assess Patient Needs
Every care home resident is different. They’ll each have unique requirements to fulfil.
So, assessing patient needs is the first step here. There can be numerous things to consider, including:
- Whether the resident suffers from things like chronic pain.
- Whether the resident suffers from medical conditions that cause them to be active at night; Alzheimer’s, or dementia.
- Whether the resident has a frequent need to visit the toilet.
As you can see, there are varying degrees of severity here. Still, they’re all disruptive to a person’s sleeping pattern, and the more mindful you are of these conditions, the better. Review patient medication requirements and doctor’s notes, and be prepared to adapt accordingly. It’s vital that they feel support is available and that they’re not alone.
Part of these needs also comes down to communication practices. For instance, daytime staff may need to inform the nighttime crew that a patient may have forgotten or even refused to take their medication for a good reason earlier on. After giving such notice, the staff looking after patients as they sleep are in a stronger position to provide what help they can. Patient needs are always evolving!
Secure The Appropriate Equipment
Because great rest doesn’t always occur naturally later in life, having a good range of equipment is important for a better night’s sleep. If your care home is well-stocked, it can more efficiently meet resident needs.
For example, NHC provides bed wedges and bumpers for safer sleeping. Posture is better, which mitigates snoring and soreness, and the bumpers can prevent older adults from rolling out of bed at night and suffering nasty falls. The presence of both of these can give care home residents more assurance and ensure their quality of sleep is as good as can be.
Care homes can sometimes be outfitted with lower beds too. That way, they can be easier to get in and out of, and there’s less risk involved in the unlikely event tumbles still happen when they’re getting in and out. Adjustable beds can also help with posture, so a good combination of offerings is key.
Think About Environmental Conditions
Of course, not all sleeping habits are affected by medical problems. Common types of disruption will still need to be addressed.
People will need to move around the care facility at the time, but they should do so quietly. If floorboards creak, it may be worth getting maintenance carried out to fix things. Perhaps even a new material may be required in certain areas, as many types of carpet can greatly suppress the sound of footsteps.
Ceasing the use of bells and buzzers can be a good idea too. Silent alternatives for nighttime should be sought instead. Digital communication software on computers or smart devices can be useful for this.
Monitoring lighting arrangements are also useful for everybody. Anything too bright in the facility is sure to cause disruption. Try to create less of a clinical atmosphere (where bright lights typically feature) and more of a cosy, homely space. Nearby lights under the resident’s control could be better utilised with dimmer-type switches, allowing them to control the brightness to their liking. After all, some people prefer sleeping with lights on, while others may have them off instead.
Provide Daytime Stimulus
Many care homes are stereotyped as dreary and dull places. If yours is, your residents will nap throughout the day, leading to an irregular and unhealthy sleeping pattern.
Offering plenty of activities during the day can keep them stimulated but also ensure they expend enough energy to require a good night’s sleep later on to recharge. So, revisiting what pursuits your facility provides is a good idea.
Art sessions, a game of bowls, gardening, or even just a regular old-fashioned sing-along can get residents active and enjoying themselves. Friendships can be made, new skills learned, and residents’ minds can be humming away with activity with some physical exertion involved too!
Short trips could also be undertaken to get everybody out as a group and enjoying their lives. Not only that, but it creates opportunities to interact with the local community. After all that stimulus, most residents may be much more inclined to rest come night time.