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Long Night at the Hospital – Importance of Rest and Nutrition for Seniors

Long Night at the Hospital – Importance of Rest and Nutrition for Seniors

Arriving home late in the evening after visiting Georgia at the hospital, Rosemary finds her neighbor Jackson, wearing his bicycle shorts sitting on her front step waiting for her and dialing his cellphone to call her son.  Jackson saw that Rosemary’s back yard light was still on before he went to bed, and he was worried when she did not answer the door.  Jackson immediately stands up and helps Rosemary out of the cab. While visiting Georgia in the emergency room, Rosemary completely forgot that Jackson would be watching to make sure that she turned off her outside light before going to bed.  Rosemary starts by apologizing to Jackson and tells him what happened to Georgia.  He has never met Georgia, but has heard Rosemary talk about her.  Jackson heads home across the street, Rosemary thanks Jackson and unlocks her door to find the phone ringing.  It is her son calling; he was worried after receiving a hang up call from Jackson’s number.  Rosemary again tells Georgia’s story and her son offers to drive her back to the hospital in the morning to visit Georgia and pick up her car.  She accepts his offer because she is so tired and she does not delight in the idea of riding in or paying for another taxi.  Rosemary briefly considered eating something before bed, but the thought of preparing food was exhausting.  Rosemary decided she had only enough energy to go bed; she felt as though she could sleep for days.

Rosemary woke in the morning at about 6 am.  She seems to have her own internal alarm clock.  When her children were in school she had to be up early to make them breakfast, and has been an early bird ever since.  Rosemary was sure to pick up her newspaper this morning.  She feels she has caused enough trouble with her neighbors by forgetting to call Jackson when she would be late.  She certainly does not want Mr. Garrison, her other neighbor, arriving at the door too if she were to fail to pick up her newspaper.  Things used to be much more simple when she did not need to have all of these people watching her every move.  On the other hand, Rosemary briefly visits the idea that she is proud to have her own little community of people watching out for her.

Rosemary calls the hospital to inquire about Georgia; the hospital will not give her any information but transfers her call to Georgia’s room.  The phone rings and rings and no one answers.  Rosemary decides to go the hospital despite not being able to reach Georgia.

Nutrition Tips for Seniors

Well-balanced nutrition for seniors is important.  Good nutrition maintains a healthy body weight and assists in the maintenance of a strong immune system and adequate function of body systems.  Seniors may experience a unique set of barriers to good nutrition, such as lack of appetite, difficulty shopping, budgetary limitations, and lack of interest in cooking or eating alone.

Rest and Sleep for Seniors

Seniors require the same amount of sleep as other adults; between seven and nine hours.  The consequences of decreased hours of sleep include increased falls, increased depression, and intensified attention and memory difficulties.

The National Institute of Health website offers information about nutrition, sleep, bone health, healthy aging, common diseases and conditions, as well as safety tips.





Comments (0) • Posted May 9, 2011

Author: Julie L., BS, BSN, RN
Julie has worked as a Registered Nurse in the emergency room, as a clinical nursing instructor, and as a director of clinical services in home care.

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