Sleep Challenges for Residents in Assisted Living Facilities

In one of her most recent posts, Dr. Eleanor Barbera, an accomplished speaker and consultant with over 20 years of experience as a psychologist in long-term care, dissected sleep challenges of older adults. Dr. Barbera explains the negative side effects coming from these challenges and how they effect basic patient care practices.

“Poor sleep is associated with cognitive and physical deficits. It can impair residents’ ability to participate in rehab and negatively affect their moods and their interactions with others, including the staff members there to help them (whose job is hard enough).

Residents who can’t sleep through the night due to elements within the control of the facility are not happy with this situation. They’re less satisfied with their stays and therefore less likely to recommend the facility to their friends and neighbors.

As illuminating as it would be, you needn’t sleep in your facility for a week to find out which staff training and policies will remedy the problem. The residents have told me what keeps them up at night and I’ve outlined a “sleep hygiene” training program based on that. 

A basic “sleep hygiene” program will:

·      Set the expectation that employees are working in the residents’ homes and should be mindful of their slumber. This includes talking in calm, hushed tones and turning off unnecessary lights after nighttime care.

·      Limit fluids in the evening, provide toileting before bedtime and offer swift, calm and prepared mid-night care that increases the likelihood that residents can go back to sleep.

·      Communicate between shifts so that the elders who have gotten up earliest get to bed soonest if they desire.

·      Prioritize pain management, particularly if it’s interfering with sleep.

·      Refer residents experiencing sleep difficulty due to anxiety or depression to the consulting psychologist.

·      Attend to agitated residents immediately so that they don’t wake their neighbors.

·      Find peaceful nighttime pursuits for elders with dementia-related sleep disturbance such as magazines, drawing or music on headsets.

·      Replace noisy medical equipment such as oxygen machines with quieter models.

·      Select roommates with attention to sleep habits and nighttime needs.

·      Create a policy for quiet hours after, say, 10 p.m. and require low volumes or headsets for electronics after that.

·      Train teams to collaborate between shifts so that they identify and assist residents who are asleep during the day and up at night to reestablish regular sleep patterns.”

We thought Dr. Barbera listed important benefits from using a “sleep hygiene program” and wanted to share them with you!

To read Dr. Barbera’s full post, click here.

Rebuilding the Healthcare Infrastructure in Puerto Rico

GreyMAR plans to reach out to facilities in Puerto Rico who were devastated by the hurricanes in hopes to help rebuild the healthcare infrastructure. GreyMAR is committed to ensuring operational healthcare facilities and ensuring patient safety.

GreyMAR’s MAR and TAR disaster recovery for PointClickCare solution will include eFax and Custom Documents modules as well to ensure fax capabilities are operational. Service is able to be setup within minutes and allows clinicians and administrators to upload documents into electronic storage for safekeeping and fast staff distribution.

It is also recommended to contact our IT Help Desk if your facility needs additional IT resources.

We have posted free resources to help you plan at both of these links.

To get your facility setup on please contact us at 412-567-6300

Lines May be Blurred with Alzheimer’s Patients

Dan Freeman, a dedicated and aggressive personal injury attorney, who contributes to the Florida Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, brought up an interesting yet touchy subject when it comes to Alzheimer’s patients; Sexual Assault or Consensual Sex?

In the post, Freeman states:

“A nursing home in California voluntarily closed, displacing some 125 residents, amid allegations of sexual assault involving two patients. The facility will close permanently next month, and residents will be sent to one of three other facilities operated by the same owner.

But the question of what happened – and whether it was in fact abuse – still lingers, and it’s one that has arisen numerous times in nursing homes in Florida too, as well as across the country.

The Sacramento Bee reported one of the patients involved was a 79-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s. The other was a 70-year-old man who was cognitively intact. The man had been observed months earlier touching the woman’s breast. When the incident occurred, he later told investigators she initiated the contact, taking off her clothes and calling him ‘darling.’ The woman told investigators she had made love to her husband, who is deceased.”

You can read the rest of Freeman’s blog post at here.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

As a facility admin, how would you go about handling this situation?

At GreyMAR, we believe having an open community for professionals to connect is important.

Add your thoughts to our community!

Inconveniences in Assisted Living Facilities

GreyMAR recently came across the blog of nursing home resident Kathleen Mears. Kathleen has been blogging about her life as a resident for the past 21 years! Her blog gives us an interesting look into the life of a resident in an assisted living facility.

Her post on October 9, 2017 tells about when the assisted living faculty’s fire prevention consultant came for a visit. It’s hard to understand just how big a small inconvenience can be for a resident, but Kathleen gives us an inside look.

Below she recalls some of her experience:

“The fire prevention consultant said my PC’s line surge protector was too close to my bed. He said, in Ohio, surge protectors within 6 feet of a resident bed must be 1363 A, fire code compliant. I had him write down all the information. I thought I need to buy one to continue using my PC.

I searched on a major shopping website and found a six-outlet 1363 A fire code compliant power strip. I was not surprised that it cost $63. I also found a computer line surge protector but the fine print said it cannot be used within six feet of a resident’s bed.

The compliant power strip cost was more than the line surge protector I was using. I wondered if existing and higher-priced line surge protectors might be more fire code compliant than the inexpensive power strips with a breaker switch. However, I could not find the answer to that question online.”

We sympathize with Kathleen and any resident in an assisted living facility that has to deal with inconveniences like this. GreyMAR is on a mission to make assisted living facilities better than ever, and we hope Kathleen continues to offer us her insight!

Read Kathleen Mears’ full blog post at

Photo of Kathleen MearsNOTICE:  Kathleen Mears is a long-time blogger who has been a nursing home resident for 21 years. She gives us a rare insight to life in a nursing home. Her blog can be accessed at


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