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Why Seniors Should Be Concerned About Their Bed

July 25th, 2012 · 1 Comment

If you are anywhere north of fifty or sixty, you already know your body is going downhill. As those approaching senior status are aware, sleep does not come as easily or last as long as it once did. Many have trouble sleeping more than three or four hours at a time and sometimes wake up more tired than when they went to bed.

It becomes more important than ever to do whatever is necessary so they can enhance their ability to have a good night’s sleep and that includes getting the right mattress.

About a year or so ago, as my father was moving into his late 80’s, we decided he needed to replace his mattress. Anyone who looked at it, let alone pressed down on it, could see that it had seen better days. None of us could even remember how long he had been sleeping on that same mattress.

He spent most of the night tossing and turning and trying to find a good spot to settle into, thus waking up multiple times during the night. We decided to go shopping at the local mattress stores to see what we could find to help him get more sleep.

Mattress woes

Seniors are often working with a two-edged sword when it comes to mattresses. Many have had them for longer than they can remember, and their body is not as strong and muscular as it used to be. Nor do they get as much exercise during the day that will help them sleep better at night.

When people go to sleep, their body relaxes into their mattress as they lose control of their physical self. Their bed becomes one of the most crucial pieces of furniture they own as far as support is concerned. Therefore it is important to get the balance of comfort and support right so that they are able to sleep longer and wake up in a more restful state than when they went to bed.

If you don’t have good support, you are liable to wake up with more aches and pains than you had to begin with.

The anatomy of a bed

A bed has two components – the mattress and the base. In order for you to get the support your body needs, those two parts need to work in harmony, which is more difficult to obtain than you might believe.

If the base is supportive, the mattress might be too soft. If the mattress is just right but the based is not supporting your body the way it should, your weight is not distributed well enough to provide you a good night’s sleep. Both need to work together in order for a person to wake up feeling rested.

Two common ailments

There are a couple of problems that many seniors have in common – bad backs and arthritis. Both ailments are caused by strain placed on the joints over a long period of time. Also, both can be extremely painful as many of us know. There is nothing worse than waking up with a back so sore you can hardly get out of bed.

I know, because I’ve been there.

What we may not realize is that with the right bed, our pain may lessen because our weight is evenly distributed over the appropriate supportive mattress and frame. You might even consider checking with your aging parent’s primary care physician or orthopaedic doctor to find out what mattress type would be best for them.

Let’s go mattress shopping!

Have you been shopping for a mattress lately? It sure isn’t like it used to be. There are stores that only cater to people looking for a mattress or bed frame. That’s the type of store we went to for Dad’s new bed. He thought he had died and gone to sleep heaven.

He knew he wanted a firm mattress – he was tired of the saggy bed that gave him a backache. He was like a little kid trying all the different mattresses and having the salesman catering to how he felt and what type of mattress he was looking for.

Dad even decided he wanted a single bed rather than the larger bed he had when Mom was still alive. My daughter and I looked at him in surprise! But, he had decided he didn’t need a bigger bed and he thought it would be much easier for him to make his own bed.

Wanting to remain active and useful, it made him feel good to be able to make his bed, and at his current 89-years of age, he still does just that.

Our shopping trip took a little while as he compared the feel of a couple of mattresses and checked out the frames, but he finally made a decision. We also made sure we purchased a mattress protector which helps with the incontinence that most seniors must contend with. We even got him a new pillow and blanket to go with his new bed.

No more complaints

We have not heard one complaint in the eighteen months since our shopping trip. He still does not sleep as many hours in a row as he did when he was working full time, but he definitely is getting much more rest than he did when sleeping on the old, used mattress.

If your senior loved one is tossing and turning and waking up with numerous aches and pains, consider getting a new bed, or at the very least a new mattress. There are sales going on all during the year and beds are definitely not as expensive as they used to be. You, and your loved one, will be glad you took the time!

Tags: Aging · Elder Care · Personal Health


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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Brian from medigapgroup.com // Aug 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I agree with everything that you have stated in this article. Seniors should definitely be concerned about what kind of shape their mattress is in. It is so important! If we’re not careful, something serious could come of them sleeping in a mattress that is doing something bad to their back. It’s important that we learn more about what is good for them and what type of bed that they should be using.

    I actually work with senior citizens every day, helping them cover the out of pocket gaps brought on b y government Medicare. I like to do whatver I can for my clients, and I’ve gotten the occasionally questions in regards to safe sleeping. I will definitely have to pass this material along to them, I know that they would really appreciate it! Thanks again for sharing, you really have an excellent blog.

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