At Commonwealth Senior Living, our Sweet Memories Neighborhoods feature award-winning programs specifically designed to elevate and enhance the experience of our residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. One of these programs is Special Touch. Through this program, our residents enjoy a unique start to their lunch and a relaxing way to wind down at dinner. These touches are warm, scented towels presented to each resident prior to their meal. At lunch time, the towels are scented with citrus oils to awaken the taste buds and promote appetite. In the evening, they’re scented with lavender to sooth residents, prepare them to relax, and promote a restful night’s sleep.
Why are appetite and sleep so important?
A loss of appetite can be worrisome for people of all ages, especially seniors. Not partaking in a fresh, healthy diet can lead to weight loss and other health conditions. Our citrus Special Touch stimulates appetite at lunch time so our residents are able to enjoy our award-winning farm-to-table dining. The National Library of Medicine gives a few reasons seniors may be eating less:
- A slowing metabolism and less physical activity mean seniors need to consume less calories.
- Changes to sense of smell and taste from losing taste buds as we get older.
- Side effects from some medications.
- Insomnia or other sleep problems resulting in less energy.
We’ve always been told sleep is the best medicine, and it may true. All adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep at night, but as we age, we tend to begin going to bed and waking up earlier. Sometimes this leads to not getting enough quality sleep throughout the night. The National Institute on Aging says without getting a good night’s sleep, you may be irritable, forgetful, have more falls, or have symptoms of depression the next day. Additionally, dementia can change your sleeping habits as well – some individuals sleep too much, some don’t sleep enough. If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, here are a few tips to help get a good night’s sleep:
- Follow regular exercise, bedtime, and sleep routines.
- Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening.
- Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
- Use low lighting in the evenings.
- Try to avoid eating large meals or drinking caffeine later in the day.
Have you ever felt a little sluggish at lunch time? Or a little too energetic at dinner time? Try our citrus and lavender Special Touch Signature Programs in your own home.