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Daylight Savings Time Can be an Adjustment for People at Any Age

 Posted by Janet Parkinson on March 14, 2017 at 3:32 PM

The start of Daylight Savings time can be an adjustment for people at any age.  Most of the United States observes this time change.  In the fall we “fall back” an hour allowing us to catch up on our rest, but in the spring we “spring ahead” which costs us an hour of precious sleep.  However, it is not just about sleep.  It throws off routines.  Sleep can be a struggle for older people and a disruption in schedule is more than a little inconvenience. 

Here are some key issues to pay attention to and aid seniors to a quick adjustment to their routine. 

Meal Times- Older adults often skip meals especially when they live alone because they don’t want to take the time or effort to prepare a healthy meal for just themselves.  Skipping meals can effect blood sugar levels and overall energy. The time change will cause you to be hungry at different points during the day not specific meal times.  In order, to get adjusted you could eat a few smaller meal throughout the day while trying to stick as closely to your regular routine as possible. 

Sleep Patterns- Older people often nap throughout the day, it is important to not over nap, because that will cause them to be less tired at night and lead to disrupted sleep.  Lack of quality sleep can lead to disorientation and prolong the adjustment to the time change.

Driving- It is extremely important to be well rested when you get behind the wheel.  Driving while tired increases distracted and careless driving.  To keep yourself and others safe make sure you are awake and alert before driving. 

Battery Checks- This is the best time to check and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and other alarm devices. 

Medication Times- Typically prescription medication gets best results when taken at the same time every day.  When your schedule gets thrown off this should be one of the more serious concerns.   Keeping a medication journal or setting timers can ensure medications are taken at the appropriate times.  This is a tip that could be followed all of the time, but especially during time change adjustments.

Timers and Clocks: Many timers and clocks will need to be adjusted, but some such as cell phones and cable boxes will automatically adjust.  To help maintain schedules and routines you should make sure that everything is corrected as soon as possible to eliminate confusion and to promote a quick adjustment.

Your loved one’s routine is important to their health and general well-being.  Thinking ahead can help to have as little disruption as possible.  Now that the weather is starting to warm up we can enjoy extended daylight!