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How Does Your Senior’s Doctor Determine the Cause of Her Insomnia?

You and your elderly family member might believe that she’s dealing with insomnia, but her doctor may need some more information. Here’s how he gets the data that he needs to make an accurate diagnosis.

Home Care in Healdsburg CA: Insomnia

Home Care in Healdsburg CA: Insomnia

Looking at Her Health History.

Sometimes your elderly family member’s health history can point to clues that might later translate as insomnia. When her doctor goes back over that health history, he can sometimes spot those clues and determine how to act on the situation your aging family member is facing now.

Doing a Current Physical Exam.

A health history can reveal a lot, but your aging family member still needs a current physical exam, just to be sure. This is especially important if your elderly family member hasn’t had a physical in a while. Her doctor will want to know what medication she’s taking, which includes vitamins and supplements, so be sure to bring a complete list to the appointment.

Asking Her to Keep a Sleep Diary.

Sleep diaries can reveal even more clues about what is going on with your elderly family member. For a few weeks, she’ll need to record how she’s feeling, when she’s sleeping, how well she’s sleeping, and any specific information her doctor wants her to track. He may have a specific form he wants her to use or you could use a simple spiral notebook. The key is to gather as much accurate information as possible so that you can get to the bottom of what’s going on.

Performing a Sleep Study.

In particularly stubborn cases, your elderly family member’s doctor may want to do a sleep study. This is a test in which your elderly family member sleeps in a lab setting and her responses while trying to sleep are measured by sensors attached to her body. After the sleep test, her doctor will have lots of data about what is going on with your senior as she’s trying to fall asleep and while she’s actually asleep. Depending on how well the test goes, your senior may need to do a second test to gather even more data.

Let other people who help your senior, such as home care providers and other family members, know if they need to assist with any of these diagnostic stages. For example, they may help her to track naps in her sleep diary or take her to appointments when you can’t be there.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Healdsburg, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.