If you own an assisted living facility like Grace Assisted Living and the time changes where you live, your residents may have a difficult time adjusting to this at first. This is because there is less sun in the morning and more daylight during the evening, and this may affect their sleep schedule and their routines. Follow the tips below so you can help your residents get through this change.
Help with Sleep Issues
Most people have sleep issues when the time first changes one hour ahead of time because they are losing one hour of sleep. This can affect older people much more, however. They may suffer from slow reactions, fatigue, and even some mood problems. This is especially true if any of your residents have Sundowner's Syndrome. There have been studies done that have found a link between the time change in the spring and an increase in heart attacks and accidents.
To help the residents at your nursing home, install dimmer lights in their rooms. Start dimming the lights about an hour or so before bedtime in the days leading up to the time change, and ask the residents to go to bed earlier each night. Their room should be at the right temperature so they can sleep comfortably.
Keep Them More Active
If the residents are having a hard time sleeping each night, try to make them more active during the day if this is possible. Take them on some field trips in your area, have a dance class in your facility, or offer fitness classes. Simply setting up a craft table could get them moving more than usual. Take them out on a short walk after dinner each night. If you do not have any space on your facility grounds to walk, then walk through the halls, if possible. Adding extra activity into their days will help them tire in time for bedtime.
Watch Their Eating
You also need to make sure the residents eat the right amount of food each day. It is common for people to lose their appetite as the weather gets hotter, and this includes the elderly. If you notice that residents are starting to eat less, encourage them to eat their normal amount. Keep them well hydrated while you are on your outings, and if the weather gets too hot you should stay on the nursing home grounds and do things inside where it is cool.
Of course you have to take into consideration residents who always do not sleep well or eat the right amount of food. This could be due to their illness or the medication they are taking. Daylight savings time may still affect them, however, so making these changes can help. Even if it is only a little bit, it can still be beneficial for them.