Has your loved one recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Maybe you have an adult in your life whose condition is getting worse and you want to help them by alleviating some of their symptoms? You may have heard in newspapers and health journals that a weighted blanket for adults with Alzheimer’s can help ease symptoms and improve mental wellbeing in patients. In this article, we are going to discuss the science behind that and explain how these blankets could benefit your loved one. Read on and see what you need to look out for in a weighted blanket and how to know when it is safe to use one.
Overview – Weighted Blanket for Adults With Alzheimers
Weighted Blankets for adults with Alzheimer’s are a great way to ensure both the safety of your loved one and your peace of mind. Using a weighted blanket not only has proven beneficial in caring for those with Alzheimer’s, but it does this by ensuring one of the main concerns that caring for those with Alzheimer’s has; which is getting out of bed in the middle of the night.
With a weighted blanket, you can rest assured knowing that there won’t be any late-night worries if your loved one is safe. Overall, the benefits of using a weighted blanket for Alzheimer’s patients are numerous, and if you plan to use one in your home, it’s important to know more about those benefits.
Disclaimer: The tips and recommendations given here are intended to be used as guidelines. Do not replace our advice for a registered health professional or therapist’s advice. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional if you have a special condition.
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What Are Weighted Blankets?
But before we learn about the benefits, it’s even more important to know what exactly weighted blankets are. Appropriate for their name, Weighted Blankets are simply blankets with weight put in them, which makes them heavier without losing the flexibility of the blanket.
Weighted blankets are used for a variety of things, and one of the main uses is to ensure that the user is comfortable and at ease. With the great deep pressure technology, you’ll be able to see the benefits of it, along with your loved one with Alzheimer’s!
But the big question is, do weighted blankets help Alzheimer’s? Yes, they do! They not only help alleviate symptoms, but they also help to give the patient a good night’s sleep. Weighted blankets have many additional health benefits which are why they have become so popular in homes across the country. Easy to use and easy to maintain, these blankets are the perfect gift for someone or simply an addition to your normal bedtime routine. They come in a variety of sizes and colors making them not only functional but great accessories too. You can even buy Minky covers for the blankets making them great tactile tools as well.
The main difference between the weighted blanket and a regular blanket is the extra level of comfort and security you get from a weighted blanket. As well as this, it’s a great addition to another blanket for those cold winter nights. (or days!)
Helps Fight Loneliness
According to the popular website for information on Alzheimer’s, Alzheimer’sSite.com, “The heaviness of the blanket is reassuring, like the hug of a friend”. This speaks volumes, as one of the unfortunately common ailments of those with Alzheimer’s are feelings of loneliness.
Not only is this extremely important for anyone, but especially or those with Alzheimer’s, as it can be hard to maintain meaningful and lasting relationships with anyone with significant memory loss issues.
Making sure that your loved one with Alzheimer’s isn’t lonely is one of the most important factors in their quality of life. Since loneliness in elders is higher than ever, those with Alzheimer’s have an even harder time with this, making a weighted blanket the perfect gift!
We can try and be there as much as possible for our loved ones but unfortunately, that isn’t possible for most of us. We have jobs, families, and responsibilities that all need to be balanced along with caring for our loved ones. If we care for them in our homes then we still need to leave them for periods of time. For some, Alzheimer’s has progressed to a point where residential care is the only option. While they may be surrounded by other adults, they can still feel pretty lonely. Thankfully with weighted blankets and Alzheimer’s, your loved one will feel like they’re getting a nice big hug from a loved one, at any time that they want!
Uses Deep Pressure Stimulation
With what’s called Deep Pressure Stimulation, they’ll be able to not only relax with ease and comfort but also feel safe and help ease any anxieties.
Described as feeling like a massage, Deep Pressure Stimulation will help ease any anxieties that are brought on by Alzheimer’s, and help any therapy or care that goes along with it to proceed much more smoothly and without nearly as much hesitation, creating a much more comforting and safe environment for your loved one with Alzheimer’s.
The science behind Deep Pressure Stimulation is simple: The weight that is in the blanket is distributed evenly throughout the body. This creates a very relaxing sensation throughout the entire body, giving you the same feeling you get when you get a hug from a loved one.
Helps Release Serotonin in the Body
DailyCaring says that weighted blankets are:
“a simple, non-drug option that can be used day or night.”
Not only this, but they also state that the Deep Pressure Stimulation, as mentioned earlier, can release a chemical in your body, called Serotonin.
Serotonin helps you feel more relaxed and at ease with your anxieties. With more of this chemical, it’s easier to feel anxious and upset, and overall, just feel happier!
The fact that the simple use of a weighted blanket can help increase the amount of serotonin in your body also decreased the need for use of medications that do the same thing. If you’re looking for a safe and comfy alternative to the various medications given to patients with Alzheimer’s, then a weighted blanket is for you!
Medication Vs. Deep pressure Therapy
Many people look to weighted blankets not only as a comfort tool but as a genuine therapy technique for loved ones that are struggling with Alzheimer’s.
Seen as a great alternative to medication, weighted blankets not only allow your loved one to experience comfort and relief, but it allows them to do this drug-free, leaving out any nasty side effects that often come with medication.
Especially for patients with Alzheimer’s, medication can be difficult. From finding the right medication combination to fighting through the numerous side effects of the medications that didn’t work, it can be exhausting!
Since every patient is different, it’s important to note that, while weighted blankets can be seen as an alternative, they can also be used with medication to have the same, if not even better effect.
If your loved one is on medication for their Alzheimer’s, using a weighted blanket is a great way to help supplement the medication with Deep Pressure Therapy.
Deep Pressure Therapy has been proven, once in a study in 2008, and another time in 2012, to have beneficial effects on the human mind, and how it processes things. While studies are still being done, the research that’s been done has proven that Deep Pressure Therapy is a great addition to Alzheimer’s patient’s routine!
Weighted Blankets for Alzheimer’s Patients can also help with common problems, such as insomnia and general sleeping trouble. Right, At Home.com states that the “even distribution of weight exerts pressure all over the body when the blanket is used”, which gives us a great insight into the great benefits that a weighted blanket can have for sleep!
Many people know of the difficulty that can proceed from not getting enough sleep. That’s why weighted blankets are so helpful! Not only Alzheimer’s patients can use them, but the whole rest of the family as well due to their therapeutic properties.
On top of having a more pleasant nap, a common symptom of Alzheimer’s is getting up in the middle of the night, confused and scared, not knowing where they are at all.
To combat this, a weighted blanket works wonders. With the weighted blanket, you’ll be able to keep them in bed and not walking around, potentially getting hurt in the process, since it avoids any hazards, such as falling in the night due to not being able to see, or bumping into something and knocking it over.
Waking up in the middle of the night confused is a common problem for many Alzheimer’s patients. However, with a weighted blanket, this is a thing of the past, as your loved one lulls into a deep sleep.
How To Use Weighted Blankets Safely
While weighted blankets are a great method of therapy to use on adults with Alzheimer’s, it’s important to remember that there are also safety precautions that come with owning a weighted blanket as well.
Firstly, the weighted blanket should be no more than 10-12% of the patient’s body weight. You don’t want the blanket to be too light for it not to work, but not so heavy that it harms the patient. With a weighted blanket that’s 10-12%, it’s just snug enough to where it won’t cause any harm, but still tight enough to get some Deep Pressure Stimulation!
Next, you need to make sure that the person knows that it’s a weighted blanket. Without the proper knowledge of the weighted blanket, your loved one could feel confused and scared from the sudden weight on them. So, making sure they understand that is going on is vital.
Is your loved one with Alzheimer’s just back from surgery? It might be time to put the weighted blanket away for a bit while they recover, as it can be dangerous for them at that time to have a constricted weight on them.
Does your loved one with Alzheimer’s have circulatory problems? A weighted blanket might not be for them. Due to the weight being put across the body, it might prove harmful for those with circulatory issues, as it might cut off circulation to a certain part of the body.
Of course, making decisions for your loved ones when they aren’t always capable of making their own can be a difficult task. You want to do what is right for them without upsetting them too much and changing their routine, something Alzheimer patients rely on. Therefore, it’s important to know when to use a weighted blanket and when not to. Some people ask are weighted blankets good for Alzheimer’s patients? They certainly are, but only when used properly and safely. By following the above information, you will be able to keep your loved one safe and help ease their condition.
In all, while it’s important to know of the safety precautions before pursuing weighted blankets, using weighted blankets for adults with Alzheimer’s has not only been beneficial to the patient but the caregiver as well. With the numerous benefits to weighted blankets, it’s a no brainer to get one!
Looking for a safe alternative to medicine for an adult with Alzheimer’s? Look no further than Namaste Blankets! Weighted blankets for adults with Alzheimer’s have many benefits as we know, and with these amazingly soft Weighted Blankets, your loved one will be able to sleep both soundly and safely, giving you peace of mind and the comfort! So, “are weighted blankets good for Alzheimer patients” the answer is a BIG YES!
Remember that as long as you follow the safety information within this article (and as an extra precaution, feel free to discuss with a medical professional) and know when it is safe to use a weighted blanket for adults with Alzheimer’s. There are so many great benefits to a weighted blanket for everyone, not just Alzheimer’s patients. You could even try one for yourself. Have trouble sleeping? A weighted blanket can help with that. Struggling to control your anxiety? A weighted blanket can help with that too! There are so many ways these blankets can help, why not give one a try and see how they can positively impact your life and your loved ones too.