Helping someone to get out of a chair
Get their attention and tell them you want them to get up from the chair.
Ask them to:
With assistance - If they need more than just a prompt to get up
Get their attention and tell them you want them to get up from the chair. Ask them to:
You can walk holding them in this position, ensuring you keep them close.
If they need more support two people can do the move.
Getting children to sleep
Following on from our last post "Why Do Children Need Sleep?" - this post is on helping children to sleep.
We know sleep is good for all of us, particularly for restoring energy and helping children grow and develop. The question is how do we ensure children get enough sleep?
How do you know your child is getting enough sleep?
If your child wakes easily in the morning: happy, cheerful and full of energy, they have had enough sleep.
If children are hard to wake, are dozy, inattentive, hyperactive and have regular meltdowns they are probably not getting enough sleep.
The good thing is children love predictability and knowing what happens next. It makes them feel safe and secure. This means if your child and family have daily and weekly routines, this helps to establish good sleep patterns. Here are a few suggestions on how to establish good sleep routines with children:
Physical activity or exercise - Ensure your child is regularly physically active during the day as exercise helps tire them out. However stop intense physical activity 1-2 hours before bed time as exercise stimulates the brain.
Food - only eat small snacks (crackers and fruit) in the two hours before going to bed.
Avoid caffeine - caffeine is in a lot of energy and fizzy drinks as well as tea, coffee and chocolate. Caffeine is not recommended for children and teenagers, however if they have caffeine restrict it to early in the day.
Screens - Stop screen time at least an hour before bed. Screen lights trick the brain into thinking it’s still daylight stimulating hormones that keep us awake. We recommend TV’s, phones, computers and video games are not in bedrooms over night or better still not in bedrooms at all.
Regular bed time and getting up time - first work out how much sleep your child needs, some need a little less than others and some children are larks and others are night owls. This will affect what bed time you set. For a guide see the chart below. Routines can vary a little in the weekends and holidays.
Bed time routine - this is very important and should start an hour or so before bed time and may include:
We recommend that your approach during this routine be quieter and calmer than your usual interactions and that the general activity around the house be slowed down if possible.
Bed room environment - to encourage sleep the bed room needs to be cool, dark and quiet. A night light may help some children who are afraid of the dark. If you want to block out the noise of the household use a machine like a fan that has a regular monotonous rhythm to it.
Afternoon naps - between ages 3-4 children generally stop their afternoon nap. Ensure children older than 4 years have a shorter nap (less than 30 minutes) and not within three hours of bedtime.
Stress and anxiety - talking to a child in a quiet calm manner will help keep their stress hormones down and help address any fears. If simple reassurance doesn’t work, you can try having a special toy to stand guard at night or spray the room with “monster spray” before bed. (A can of air freshener with a creative new label works well.) If you have a child who worries about not getting to sleep, don't focus on the sleep, focus on relaxing and having a quiet time.
Modelling - Children take their lead from their parents so it’s important to have a good routine for yourself.
Sleeping is still a problem - if after trying these strategies for a month or so and your child is still having trouble sleeping see your Doctor.
Don't underestimate your children's need for sleep. Here at Therapy Professionals we see some children whose disabilities worsened and others who have been labelled as hyperactive, disobedient, or clumsy when poor sleep has been the significant problem.
We all want our children to thrive and one thing we can do for them is establish good sleeping habits. This will help the child and the household.
Healthline Editorial Team (2017) ’10 tips to get your kids to sleep’, Healthline.
Ministry of Health (2017) ‘Helping children sleep better’.
Macmillan, A, (2015) Sleep tips for kids of all ages’, Webmd.com.
Marcu, Shai, The benefits of a goodnight’s sleep – Sleep to remember. Remember to sleep, TED –Ed.
Harvard Medical School (Jan 2006), Importance of sleep: six reasons not to scrimp on sleep.
American Psychological Association, Why sleep is important.
Leech, Joe (June 2017), ‘Ten reasons why good sleep is important’, Healthline.
Peterson, SM and Werneburg, BL, Sleep: The foundation for healthy habits, Mayo Clinic
Fitness as we age
Keeping fit when older is important and takes more effort the older we get. Fifty per cent of those over 75 are sedentary (sit most of the time) and 25% of those over 85 aren’t active at all. Habitual activity makes up a large part of all activity. Housework makes up more than half of an older woman’s activity.
As we get older, fitness is more Important than weight, so relax about your shape and concentrate on fitness.
So how fit are you?
What walking distances can you comfortably do?
Being unable to walk round the block is one indicator you have an increased risk of falling.
Test your fitness with the “Get up and go test”– using a dining chair.
Record how long it takes you to stand; walk three metres (10 feet); turn; walk back; sit down again.
After a month of exercising, test yourself again. A change more than four seconds can indicate a change in the level of mobility eg six seconds slower indicates slower/less confident mobility or six seconds faster indicates stronger/more confident mobility.
Below are some moderate intensity realistic exercise ideas for you to improve your fitness:
Why sleep is good for children
Our brains are always active, even when we are asleep. While sleeping, the brain clears out its waste, sorts and stores information into our memories and regulates many of our body’s functions.
Sleep is important for everyone, especially children as they are growing and learning at a great rate. Here are some of the reasons why.
Growth and development
While a child sleeps growth hormone is released which is responsible for the development of bone and muscle bulk. Children who get less sleep have less growth hormone.
Memory and therefore learning
While a child sleeps the things they’ve done and learnt during the day get sorted and stored in their long-term memory. If they are sleep-deprived they’ll store 40% less information than those who get enough sleep. Also sleep prepares them for learning, ensuring children can stay awake, concentrate and pay attention.
Emotional, Social and Mental Health
Studies show when sleep deprived we become 60% more emotionally reactive and are physically slower responding to things; much like being drunk. Lack of sleep may explain why some children are hyperactive, miss social cues, have regular “melt downs”, are anxious or appear clumsy and uncoordinated. This may also account for some childhood accidents.
Poor sleep is an issue in most mental health problems - anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder.
Improves our immune system
A child’s immune system keeps developing until adulthood. While sleeping they produce cytokines (small proteins), which help them fight infections. After just one poor night’s sleep the activity of cytokines reduces by 75%, making a child more susceptible to infections such as the common cold.
Maintaining a healthy body weight
Sleep helps regulate the daily fluctuations in the appetite hormones ghrelin (stimulates appetite) and lectin (suppresses appetite). This means children don’t feel the need to eat constantly throughout the day or to store excess calories, so they don’t gain too much weight. If they eat a healthy amount they will sustain their bodies and gain some muscle mass.
Those children who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight, although there are other factors that influence weight gain.
The bodies of children who get enough sleep are able to react to insulin levels better. Insulin controls the levels of glucose in the blood. Those who don’t get enough sleep have higher blood sugar levels and are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
How much sleep is enough?
Eric J. Olson’s (MD) guidelines recommend the following:
Newborns: 14 to 17 hours a day
12 months: About 10 hours at night, plus 4 hours of naps
2 years: About 11 to 12 hours at night, plus a 1- to 2-hour afternoon nap
3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours
6 to 13 years: 9 to 11 hours
14 to 17 years: 8 to 10 hours
Adults: 7 to 9 hours
Our next post on sleep will give some tips on how to establish good sleeping patterns for your children.
Tips to get those with Dementia moving
1. Ensure there is a goal in sight for the client. Break longer walks into a series of short goals, eg, get them to walk to the chair over by the door, then walk to the dining table, then the door and finally to walk to the chair outside the toilet. Gesture where you want them to go.
2. Get your residents to walk to morning and afternoon tea and to see their visitors.
3. Sit your resident at the end of the bed, sit next to them ensuring you are invading their space, this will encourage them to move away from you towards the head of the bed, keep moving into their space until they are in the place you want them.
1. Show respect for your client by listening to them.
2. Give commands notquestions eg “Stand up” instead of “would you like to stand for me”
3. Give one command at a time (so they have time to understand).
4. Use their words eg if they use loo for toilet refer to the toilet as the loo.
5. Use gestures to indicate what you want them to do.
Demented clients often have difficulty getting out of the chair and walking downstairs. This is because they have a perceptual problem that causes them to feel they are falling off a cliff.
1. Getting out of a chair- place a chair or some barrier in front of them to give them a sense of security. Make sure it is far enough away so they do not use it to assist themselves to stand or move.
2. Walking downstairs– get the client to walk down sideways holding onto the rail.
If you are still having trouble, our friendly physiotherapists may be able to help.
Just contact us at Therapy Professionals Ltd
Phone: 03 377 5280 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Reference: Rosemary Oddy MRCP