Do you have a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with dementia? Maybe your relative has been suffering from dementia for a while and you are looking for a way to help .
This is where weighted blankets for dementia comes in. These blankets are designed to help ease the anxiety. Here, we’re going to discuss how these blankets could benefit dementia suffers.
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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More About Dementia
Dementia is classified as an umbrella term for a range of disease These include:
- Decline in memory
- Loss of language
- A decline in problem-solving skills
- General loss of thinking skills
This disorder mainly affects the older generations, it is not uncommon for early dementia to affect people in their 40’s and 50’s.
There are many symptoms that coincide with dementia including sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, and aggression. Most people are able to live comfortably with dementia but it is important to have a caregiver to help. Simple things such as paying household bills or remembering to lock the back can be stressful with a disease like Dementia. Ultimately, having someone to help with these tasks is vital.
What Are Weighted Blankets?
Weighted blankets are blankets filled with glass or plastic pellets. The weight applies pressure across the body which in turn increases the production of oxytocin in your body.
This natural chemical helps to calm nerves, relax the body and help with sleep and anxiety. The deep pressure also stimulates your nerves and comforts you as you sleep or rest under it. There are many other positive benefits of weighted blankets including:
- Combats stress
- Helps ADHD and improves focus
- Promotes better sleep hygiene
- Supports elderly users
- Eases insomnia
- Helps fibro pain
- Eases travel anxiety
- Decreases anxiety in dogs
- Manages autism in kids
- Helps restless leg syndrome as you sleep (RLS)
- Aids in sensory processing disorder (SDP)
What About Weighted Blankets for Dementia? Real or Fake?
There are a few ways that weighted blankets and dementia work well together.
- They encourage healthy sleep patterns – When someone sleeps under a weighted blanket, they naturally have a better night’s sleep. The oxytocin produced under the pressure of the blanket helps to relax the user and enables them to drift off into a deep sleep. Dementia sufferers often find they fidget and toss in the night, this can be alleviated by a weighted blanket thanks to the added pressure naturally encouraging them to lay still. Getting more quality sleep will also help the patient to deal with their daily symptoms and will help their mental cognition.
- They help ease anxiety – When your mind is confused and you are unable to remember things as easily as you used to, you start to feel quite anxious. Routines that were the basis of your life suddenly seem different and confusing. Even simple tasks like working the oven can become too complex and the frustration of this can make their anxiety even worse. A weighted blanket is clinically proven to help ease his anxiety. You can use it at night or throughout the day when resting on the couch.
- They are comforting – when wrapped up in a weighted blanket, you will feel like you are being given a big hug, and this can be very comforting and reassuring for a patient who may otherwise be confused about what is happening around them.
How to Pick the Right Blanket
Getting the right blanket for you or your loved one is important. You don’t want to pay out for a new blanket only for it to not fit or be too heavy. There are a few rules to follow when it comes to buying a weighted blanket for dementia, the first being the actual weight of the blanket. These blankets come in a variety of weights and sizes, but you should look for one that weighs approximately 10-12% of your (or the patients) bodyweight. Choosing a blanket that weighs more than this can cause discomfort and can have a negative impact.
The other thing to consider is the size of the blanket. Depending on what you choose to use it for, your size needs will be different. If you are using it at night we recommend choosing one that is the same size as your bed. If you are using your blanket for daily use choose one that is smaller size.
Are Weighted Blankets For Dementia Patients?
What is great about weighted blankets is that they are not just for dementia sufferers. Children often use weighted blankets for autism, adults can use them to ease anxiety and everyone can use them to help get a better night’s sleep. They really do have so many positive benefits!
So, are weighted blankets good for dementia? You bet! Using weighted blankets for dementia is a great way to help manage this disease.
Follow the 10-12% bodyweight rule when purchasing one and to ensure you buy the right size for your needs. Try one today and see how beneficial they could be in your loved one’s life.