Choosing weighted blankets for elderly patients could be an excellent gift. It’s a low-risk item that could bring relief to your loved one. A weighted blanket can help calm the senses, eliminate stresses, and promote good sleep.
Disclaimer: The tips and recommendations given at Namaste Blankets are intended to be used as guidelines. Do not replace our advice with a registered health professional or therapist’s advice. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional if you have a special condition.
Is There a Weighted Blanket for Elderly Consumers?
Well, yes, there is.
Weighted blankets are blankets with extra weight. These blankets feature dozens of tiny pockets lined with glass beads or plastic pellets to provide a technology called Deep Tough Pressure.
The use of weighted blankets became very popular for adults and seniors who had difficulty sleeping. Research shows that these blankets provided numerous benefits to people of all ages.
The most interesting thing about the weighted blankets is that they are incredibly comfortable and cool. Weighted blankets typically weight from 4 to 25 pounds. The weight is distributed through pockets of the blanket.
How Do Weighted Blankets Work?
An article titled “Non-medicinal treatment of poor sleep for older adults” by Dana Wheatley MSc. States that up to 40% of older adults complain about poor sleep quality. Weighted blankets work in a similar way to a technique called Deep Touch Pressure therapy (DPT). Many individuals suffering from stress look for a better night’s sleep under a weighted blanket. The DTP contributes to the production of chemicals and hormones like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, which helps with issues such as a sleep disorder, stress, and anxiety.
Experts believe that weighted blankets work because they provide deep pressure stimulation. According to WebMD, “deep pressure stimulation has been found to calm adults and children with anxiety, autism, and attention difficulties.”
Is There Scientific Evidence of Weighted Blankets Working?
There are numerous sources of scientific evidence showing that weighted blankets actually work.
One small study published in 2006 found that 63 percent of the 32 adults who used such a blanket reported a reduction in anxiety, and 78 percent preferred the blanket to other self-soothing techniques. The study also outlined that 30-pound weighted blankets are a safe and effective way to reduce anxiety in adults. Furthermore, the pressure contributed by the weighted blankets decreases cortisol and stress hormones.
Another study, published in 2015, found that people wearing a weighted vest (which provides a similar effect) saw reduced sympathetic arousal after only a short period of time.
The Swedish company Somna AB underwrote a 2015 paper in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, which found that consistent and evenly distributed sensory pressure “can reduce physiological levels of arousal”—in this context, a good thing—and that weighted blankets reduced movement during sleep.
Should Older People Use Weighted Blankets?
When we reach retirement age, it is time to rest, relax, and enjoy life. But nothing is painful than unable to sleep when you finally have the time to sleep in – and that’s where weighted blankets for seniors come in. These uniquely-designed blankets are a safe way to get a calm, peaceful feeling. As a result, they are very good at reducing anxiety and increasing serotonin.
What Kind of Weighted Blanket for Seniors I Get?
Weighted blankets come featuring different weights – that’s why you need to be careful when choosing one for your elderly person. The most important factor to consider is figuring out the correct weight of the blanket. As mentioned earlier, weighted blankets weights about 4 to 25 pounds. We recommend purchasing a weighted blanket around 10-12% of the person’s body weight.
Any Risks? Weighted Blankets in the Elderly?
Yes, but they are low-level risks. It is not recommendable to get weighted blankets for an elderly person who has a respiratory disorder. If you know this to be true, stay away from a weighted blanket.