Providing Care in Sonoma, Napa, & Marin Counties
Call (707) 573-1003

Separating Sleep Apnea’s Myths From the Reality

What do you know about sleep apnea? It’s a common condition in which a person’s breathing stops or becomes very shallow for seconds or even minutes. An episode usually ends with a snort and breathing resumes as normal. It’s more common in men. It’s also more common in people over the age of 40. Could your mom or dad have it?

Elder Care in Novato CA: Sleep Apnea Myths

Elder Care in Novato CA: Sleep Apnea Myths

Sleep apnea affects sleeping patterns. People with sleep apnea find their deep sleep is disturbed. As they don’t get a solid night of deep sleep, they feel drained during the day. It’s a hard condition to diagnose. People with sleep apnea have an increased risk of heart failure, arrhythmia, stroke, and high blood pressure. Here are some of the myths you may have heard and the reality of the condition.

Myth 1: You’re Not Overweight so You Can’t Have It.

Your mom is near her target weight. There’s no way she could have sleep apnea, right? While the condition is more common in men and those who are overweight, there are people who are at their target weight and have sleep apnea. Your mom still could have it.

Myth 2: Sleep Apnea Only Happens When You Sleep on Your Back.

Some cases of sleep apnea do happen when a person is on their back and the airway collapses and narrows. It’s not a guarantee, however. There are people with sleep apnea who sleep on one side or on their stomach. There are even people who sleep in a semi-reclined position who have sleep apnea.

Myth 3: Loud Snoring is Always Sleep Apnea.

Loud snores can be a symptom of sleep apnea, but it’s not a guarantee the condition is to blame. Snoring occurs when throat tissue relaxes and allows for vibration during an intake of breath. The American Sleep Apnea Association believes about half of the cases of loud snoring are, in fact, sleep apnea. The other half are simply people who snore.

Myth 4: Sleep Apnea Isn’t Dangerous.

Many think that sleep apnea isn’t dangerous. They think because the person often snorts and then wakes up and starts breathing normally, it’s fine. The University of Wisconsin released a study that found people with sleep apnea have three times the risk of dying that a healthy adult has. CPAP treatments are essential to preventing serious health issues of death resulting from sleep apnea.

What Can You Do?

Make sure your mom or dad sees a specialist in sleep apnea. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatments help people with sleep apnea. The machine increases air within the throat to prevent the tissue from collapsing and blocking airflow.

While they adjust to the device, it may be helpful to have an elder care specialist available. If sleep apnea keeps your mom or dad from a good night’s sleep, they shouldn’t drive. A caregiver can drive them to medical offices and area businesses. Learn more by contacting an elder care agency now.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Novato, 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.