Weighted Blankets: A Suggestion for Anxiety Reduction for Those with Dementia

What if there were a drug-free strategy for decreasing anxiety and promoting better sleep in those living with dementia? Research suggests weighted blankets can “reduce anxiety, calm nerves, provide comfort and promote deep sleep,” DailyCaring reports.

Weighted blankets provide deep pressure therapy, which involves giving the body gentle pressure so it will produce serotonin and make the person feel calm. Weighted blankets can improve sleep during the night or help with anxiety during the day.

Be sure to ask a doctor for guidance before using a weighted blanket to ensure that any circulatory or temperature issues do not make using one unsafe. Once you have confirmed that using this approach is medically safe, you much figure out how heavy your blanket should be. “The standard guideline is that a blanket should be about 10 percent of your older adult’s body weight, plus 1 or 2 pounds,” DailyCaring reports. “You’ll probably need to lower that estimate if [your loved one is] frail.”

To make your own weighted blanket that doesn’t require sewing, check out parts oneand two of this tutorial. To make a weighted blanket that involves sewing, click here. If you’re interested in purchasing one, check out SensaCalm or Sommerfly.

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