For many people living with dementia bedtime does not necessarily mean sleep-time. As dementia progresses insomnia and nighttime wandering may interfere with rest for care partner and caregiver. One possible solution that involves no medication is a weighted blanket. Use of a weighted blanket, custom-sized for an individual’s height and weight, is described as feeling like being held gently and as an extended hug. Weighted enough to feel pleasant pressure, the blankets can be easily removed by the wearer with no additional assistance. Weighted blankets are soothing and calming to children and adults that are experiencing anxiety.
Sleep is a basic need. When rest is disrupted night after night exhaustion brings on negative changes in moods, emotions, and can affect activities of daily living. Weighted blankets cost around $180 and can be ordered online from retailers or from artisans. It is rewarding to see a loved one resting more comfortably and to know that everyone in the household is getting the sleep they need once again.