I received this touching note. Are you turning 60? Read This!

I just amazing received this beautiful note.  Maybe I am thinking the right things?

Gordon,

I just read your post.  Sounds like you are asking the same questions many, many people ask when they turn 60.  There are no magic answers.

 

Have you ever thought that one gift your stroke gave you is time? Time to do your blog, time to be a grandfather, time to be a caring father,  time to volunteer, time to have quality time with your wife, time to exercise,  time to do presentations, time to pray, time to help Jill around the house, time to have fun, travel, etc.

 

Perhaps you need to think of yourself as retired……not unemployed.  Is this the life you planned and worked so hard for all those years.  No, but does real happiness come from our jobs or from  our personal relationships.  Only you can find your answer to that question.

 

Perhaps God has some plans for that time………another door to open…….other paths to follow.   If you ask, he will help you open the door.

 

The journey is the secret……..not the destination.

From someone still asking the same questions……..

How Did I Do?


 

I THINK I did OK; at least my wife TOLD me she was proud of me!

When I got done, I felt kind of bad because I thought I could have done better.  But I am going to believe my wife; she is a good indicator of how I went.

I thought I would keep trying to develop way to get more people to sign up for my blog.  I tweaked the response.  This is what I did.  After Jill was done talking. I told the attendees to get out their phones.  The I said to enter  mybrainllc.com/ipad

They would land here:
I instructed them to fill out there name, and emails address if they want to get my blog. Then I said,  “But wait, there is more!”  I told them they could get an iPad mini if they gave me the name, email address and phone number of someone who would like to here more about this talk.  If they hired me, I would sent then an iPad mini.  This time I had 2 out of 50!  But when I got home, I added another 8 that logged onto my site.

I think I will go back to my OLD method, which was a clip board where they just put their email address.  I have consistently gotten 30-50% from the audiences who heard me speak!

When I call this client this week, I will let you know how I did.

BTW: My wife took this picture from the back of the room.  It is funny; notice how many people are sitting in the back??

I still have to practice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am planning for my last speech of the year.

You know that I practice for a few weeks before giving EVERY speech.  Last Friday, I was absolutely amazing;  I has the audience (me) in tears!  I hit every slide, I paused in the right places; I really was fantastic.

Today, I thought “why do I need to practice again?  I given this same speech over 500 times.  Maybe I should stop.  I know, I will just give it one last time.”

So I did….and I was horrible. It was as if I was giving the speech for the first time.  I would say a few sentences, but then would be stuck to fine my place.  It was a real wake up call for me.  I really do have to practice this speech!  

It was so humbling to realize that I put EVERYTHING into speaking; I just don’t wing it. So, it is back to practicing!

 

It’s Time to Get Your Flu Shot

Posted by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

Flu season is fast approaching, and U.S. health officials are worried that this season could be a bad one.

That’s why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging everyone 6 months and older to get a flu shot.

Why the extra concern? Australia, which experiences its flu season in summer because it’s in the southern hemisphere, has been hard hit this year. And the major culprit has been the H3N2 flu strain, which is known for causing severe disease, especially among older people.

And small clusters of H3N2 are already showing up in the United States, according to published reports.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen but there’s a chance we could have a season similar to Australia,” Dr. Daniel Jernigan, influenza chief at the CDC, told the Associated Press.

And, even when severe strains aren’t circulating, flu is an illness that needs to be taken seriously.
“Influenza is not just a few days at home with a runny nose—it can be a lot worse,” Dr. Thomas Price, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said during a Thursday morning news briefing.

Flu can lead to hospitalization and death, Price said. “This is particularly true for certain groups: older adults, pregnant women, people with some long-term medical conditions and young children,” he explained.

Getting a flu shot is easy, Price said. “There are thousands of places where you can get your flu shot,” he added.

“Each flu season, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of deaths,” Price said.

The CDC estimates that since 2010, flu-related hospitalizations in the United States have ranged from a low of 140,000 to a high of more than 700,000. And deaths ranged from 12,000 to 56,000, depending on the year.

“These numbers are far too high, especially when we consider that there is a vaccine that can prevent a significant proportion of this disease,” Price said.

But too few children and adults get their yearly flu shot, he noted.

Among children and teens, the number who were vaccinated last year didn’t change from the year before, remaining at about 59 percent. For adults, vaccination rates increased about 1 percent, from 46 percent in 2015-2016 to 47 percent in 2016-2017.

Last year’s vaccine was 42 percent effective, which means that if you were vaccinated, you had a 42 percent lower risk of getting the flu.

But even at that low level, the CDC estimated that the vaccine prevented more than 5 million cases of flu, nearly 3 million doctors’ visits and 86,000 hospitalizations, Price said.

According to a report in the Sept. 29 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 79 percent of health care workers got flu shots in 2016, the same as in the past three flu seasons.
Although the vaccination rate among health care workers seems high, it ranged from 92 percent of those who worked in hospitals, to 68 percent of those working in nursing homes and to 76 percent in clinics.

But Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, stressed that “100 percent of health care workers should be vaccinated.”

People who are already sick are more likely to get the flu and die from it, especially in nursing homes. Health care workers need to think of their patients and not run the risk of giving them influenza, Siegel said.

Among pregnant women, 54 percent said they were vaccinated in 2016, which is the same as the last four flu seasons, the CDC researchers reported.

It’s especially important for pregnant women to get their flu shot, Siegel said. If a pregnant woman gets the flu, it can result in her infant suffering from a birth defect, he explained.

“It’s hard to convince pregnant women that putting anything into their body is safe at a time when they have a developing infant,” Siegel said. “But that’s an emotional reaction. In reality, the risk of flu is far greater to the fetus and there’s zero risk from a flu shot.”

For this year’s flu season, about 166 million doses of vaccine will be available, Price said.

Price advised three steps to fight the flu. First, get vaccinated. Second, take measures to prevent the spread of the disease. That means staying home if you’re sick, avoiding people with the flu, washing your hands often and coughing into your arm. Third, if you get the flu, take antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Take a Stand Against Sitting Too Much

Posted by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

Days spent sitting for hours may increase your risk for an early death no matter how much you exercise, researchers say.

In a new study, people who sat the most had twice the risk of dying over a 4-year period as people who sat the least. But taking a break every 30 minutes to get up and walk around might help decrease the risk, the study authors said.

“What’s most troubling is it’s like I exercise in the morning and I think I’m good, but in addition to exercise I should also be mindful of not being sedentary for long periods throughout the day,” said lead researcher Keith Diaz. He is an associate research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

It’s more than exercise, Diaz said. “You have to do more. You have to move, you have to get up often and break up your sedentary habits if you want to have the lowest risk of death,” he explained.

Many people sit for up to 10 hours a day, he noted. Earlier studies that have reported a link between sitting and an early death have relied on people telling researchers how long they sat in a day. This new study, however, actually measured sitting time using a hip-mounted accelerometer that tracked movement, and correlated it with the risk of dying during the study period.

Diaz cautioned, however, that this study only shows an association between sitting and an increased risk of early death. It can’t prove that sitting causes the risk, due to the study design.
Exactly how prolonged sitting might be related to an increased risk of early death isn’t known, he added.

“There is evidence that suggests, but does not prove, that it could be about how our body handles blood sugar,” Diaz said.

“We think it’s through a kind of diabetic pathway. When our muscles are inactive, they are not using blood sugar, and we know that blood sugar can wreak terrible consequences on our body. Poor blood sugar control is thought to be one of the ways sitting increases one’s risk for heart disease or death,” he said.

Standing up from your desk and walking around for a few minutes every half hour could be an important behavioral change that might reduce the risk of premature death, Diaz suggested.  The report was published online Sept. 11 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Dr. David Alter is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. He said, “We don’t yet know what the ideal solutions are to remedy the risks associated with sedentary behavior.”
It’s not just about avoiding sedentary behavior or prolonged bouts of sedentary behavior, said Alter, who wrote an accompanying journal editorial.

“It might require a combination of exercise, light activity and frequent movement breaks,” he said.
What’s almost certain is that the solution will require folks to track their activity and inactivity, Alter said.

“Just like weight-management strategies, we will need to monitor how much time we spend sitting, moving and undertaking exercise in a much more deliberate way than we have perhaps thought previously,” Alter said.

For the study, Diaz and his colleagues reviewed data on nearly 8,000 U.S. adults 45 and older who had participated in a previous study. The participants wore a monitor that kept track of the amount of time they were seated.

The researchers found that in a 16-hour waking day, the participants sat a little more than 12 hours. The average was 11 minutes at a stretch.

Over an average follow-up of four years, 340 participants died.
Spending more time sitting for longer periods increased the risk for an early death, regardless of age, gender, race, weight or how much one exercised, the researchers found.

Those who had the lowest risk of dying were those who didn’t sit longer than 30 minutes at a stretch, the findings showed.

“If we are to sit for prolonged periods at a time—more than 30 minutes at a time, and for many hours per day—more than 12 hours per day, our risk of death is high,” Alter said.
“That risk is reduced if we exercise at least 150 minutes per week, but not entirely eliminated,” he concluded.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

9 Things NOT to Say to Someone with a Brain Injury

Brain injury is confusing to people who don’t have one. It’s natural to want to say something, to voice an opinion or offer advice, even when we don’t understand.

And when you care for a loved one with a brain injury, it’s easy to get burnt out and say things out of frustration.

Here are a few things you might find yourself saying that are probably not helpful:

1. You seem fine to me.

The invisible signs of a brain injury — memory and concentration problems, fatigue, insomnia, chronic pain, depression, or anxiety — these are sometimes more difficult to live with than visible disabilities. Research shows that having just a scar on the head can help a person with a brain injury feel validated and better understood. Your loved one may look normal, but shrugging off the invisible signs of brain injury is belittling. Consider this: a memory problem can be much more disabling than a limp.

2. Maybe you’re just not trying hard enough (you’re lazy).

Lazy is not the same as apathy (lack of interest, motivation, or emotion). Apathy is a disorder and common after a brain injury. Apathy can often get in the way of rehabilitation and recovery, so it’s important to recognize and treat it. Certain prescription drugs have been shown to reduce apathy. Setting very specific goals might also help.

Do beware of problems that mimic apathy. Depression, fatigue, and chronic pain are common after a brain injury, and can look like (or be combined with) apathy. Side effects of some prescription drugs can also look like apathy. Try to discover the root of the problem, so that you can help advocate for proper treatment.

3. You’re such a grump!

Irritability is one of the most common signs of a brain injury. Irritability could be the direct result of the brain injury, or a side effect of depression, anxiety, chronic pain, sleep disorders, or fatigue. Think of it as a biological grumpiness — it’s not as if your loved one can get some air and come back in a better mood. It can come and go without reason.

It’s hard to live with someone who is grumpy, moody, or angry all the time. Certain prescription drugs, supplements, changes in diet, or therapy that focuses on adjustment and coping skills can all help to reduce irritability.

4. How many times do I have to tell you?

It’s frustrating to repeat yourself over and over, but almost everyone who has a brain injury will experience some memory problems. Instead of pointing out a deficit, try finding a solution. Make the task easier. Create a routine. Install a memo board in the kitchen. Also, remember that language isn’t always verbal. “I’ve already told you this” comes through loud and clear just by facial expression.

5. Do you have any idea how much I do for you?

Your loved one probably knows how much you do, and feels incredibly guilty about it. It’s also possible that your loved one has no clue, and may never understand. This can be due to problems with awareness, memory, or apathy — all of which can be a direct result of a brain injury. You do need to unload your burden on someone, just let that someone be a good friend or a counselor.

6. Your problem is all the medications you take.

Prescription drugs can cause all kinds of side effects such as sluggishness, insomnia, memory problems, mania, sexual dysfunction, or weight gain — just to name a few. Someone with a brain injury is especially sensitive to these effects. But, if you blame everything on the effects of drugs, two things could happen. One, you might be encouraging your loved one to stop taking an important drug prematurely. Two, you might be overlooking a genuine sign of brain injury.

It’s a good idea to regularly review prescription drugs with a doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask about alternatives that might reduce side effects. At some point in recovery, it might very well be the right time to taper off a drug. But, you won’t know this without regular follow-up.

7. Let me do that for you.

Independence and control are two of the most important things lost after a brain injury. Yes, it may be easier to do things for your loved one. Yes, it may be less frustrating. But, encouraging your loved one to do things on their own will help promote self-esteem, confidence, and quality of living. It can also help the brain recover faster.

Do make sure that the task isn’t one that might put your loved one at genuine risk — such as driving too soon or managing medication when there are significant memory problems.

8. Try to think positively.

That’s easier said than done for many people, and even harder for someone with a brain injury. Repetitive negative thinking is called rumination, and it can be common after a brain injury. Rumination is usually related to depression or anxiety, and so treating those problems may help break the negative thinking cycle.

Furthermore, if you tell someone to stop thinking about a certain negative thought, that thought will just be pushed further towards the front of the mind (literally, to the prefrontal cortex). Instead, find a task that is especially enjoyable for your loved one. It will help to distract from negative thinking, and release chemicals that promote more positive thoughts.

9. You’re lucky to be alive.

This sounds like positive thinking, looking on the bright side of things. But be careful. A person with a brain injury is six times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than someone without a brain injury. Some may not feel very lucky to be alive. Instead of calling it “luck,” talk about how strong, persistent, or heroic the person is for getting through their ordeal. Tell them that they’re awesome.

How Did I Do In New Orleans?

We have to wait until later this week for their report.  I THINK it went ok. They laughed at all the right places.  I tried 3 different things:  First, I gave away books to 25% of the audience and they ALL found a home!  Second, I said if you give me a lead and it turns into an engagement, I will send you a FREE iPad mini.  I got 15 back.   Normally, when I ask my meeting planner, I get 3. I will let you know how I do.  I am look forward to the results.

And third, I asked for an evaluation of how I did in the presentation. The results:

  • 80% said I was GREAT
  • 9% gave me a 9
  • 9% gave me an 8
  • 1% gave me a 7
  • 1% gave me a 0!!!!  I guess he didn’t think the story was funny!

Our hosts, Kristel and Jennifer, invited us all out to dinner the night before we spoke.  We have a chance to meet the two other speakers. It was such a great time learning from each other.  We agreed that we would all watch one another and give our feedback.  One of the speakers flaked out…but that was to be expected.

The other speaker, James, was fantastic!  He was quiet…then loud.  He paused frequently….and thought about was he was going to say…..even though he gave this speech almost 1000 times.  It was like the first time he was giving it.  ….and he got laughs!  I really admire James and hope to be like him someday.

Did I mention that he was a former minister?? He was a true pro. I feel blessed to know him!

Are you looking for ways to deal with disability??

This email came across my desk today. If you are disabled, or you care for someone disabled, this will have meaning to you…

According to the most recent findings from the U.S. Census Bureau, 56.7 million disabled adults and children reside in the United States. This figure accounts for roughly 19% of the country’s total population. Of these 56.7 million:

  • 8.1 million have difficulty seeing, and 2 million are considered legally blind.
  • 7.6 million have a hard time hearing, with 1.1 million experiencing severe hearing problems and 5.6 million using a hearing aid.
  • 30.6 million struggle with walking or stair-climbing; many of these individuals rely on wheelchairs, crutches and other assistive devices.
  • 19.9 million have difficulty reaching, holding and grasping objects.
  • 15.5 million have trouble with at least one daily task as a result of their disability; these tasks include bathing, eating and dressing themselves.
  • 2.4 million have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, senility or dementia.
  • 7 million have depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders that are severe enough to impact their daily lives.

Disabilities impact people in different ways. Disabilities are currently classified into five subdivisions.

Type of Disability Definition Examples
Intellectual Difficulty communicating with others, learning and processing information Down syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), Fragile X syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD), developmental delays
Physical A condition that affects physical capacity and motor functions Multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy, paraplegia/quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, polio, disability due to physical injury
Sensory A condition that affects sight, hearing, taste, smell and/or touch Blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), sensory processing disorder
Mental Illness A mental health condition that affects one’s daily life and relationships Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Neurological A physical condition that arises due to damage to or degeneration in the nervous system Acquired brain injury (ABI), epilepsy, other acquired conditions characterized by bodily fatigue, impaired physical capacity, speech difficulties, memory lapses and/or mood swings; also includes Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia

Virtually every type of disability is linked to certain sleep issues. This article will explore the relationship between sleep and different types of disabilities, as well as some popular bedding products and accessories used by disabled sleepers. First, let’s look at some of the latest studies and scientific findings exploring the way disabilities affect sleep and vice versa.

Studies and Findings

In a 2016 study titled, ‘Sleeping while disabled, disabled while sleeping’, Dr. Benjamin Reiss notes that nearly every disability diagnosed today entails some sort of sleep disruption ― although the nature of and reasons for this disruption vary from person to person. The most common causes include “physical pain, exhaustion, and emotional stress of facing obstacles in work and other areas of life, or challenging sleep environments in which many disabled people live”. Dr. Reiss adds that sleep-related issues are often the most difficult aspect of living with a disability. “Night is often when social isolation and vulnerability are most profound,” he writes. “In addition, caretakers themselves often find their own sleep profoundly disrupted, whether this occurs in a family setting or an institutional space.”

Other studies have examined the effects of sleep deprivation in people with different disabilities. A 2002 study published in Pain Research and Management found that roughly 89% of people with chronic pain experienced “at least one problem with disturbed sleep”, and that addressing sleep problems in these individuals can lead to “improvement in patients’ daily activity and a reduction in their suffering”. A similar report found in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research noted that 16.1% of children with intellectual disabilities had at least one sleep problem ― and that severe sleep issues were linked to health issues like epilepsy and cerebral palsy, as well as overuse of medication. And an extensive study conducted for Archives of Disease in Childhood found that children with autism spectrum disorders aged 30 months to 11 years sleep 17 to 43 minutes less each daythan children who have not been diagnosed with ASD; the subjects in this study also reported higher levels of nighttime waking. Additionally, some sleep problems are largely isolated to disabled populations. Non-24 sleep wake disorder, for instance, is a circadian rhythm disorder that primarily affects blind people.

The general consensus among today’s experts: addressing the sleep problems of disabled adults and children can improve their physical well-being, mood and everyday outlook. However, findings remain somewhat limited and sleep experts are still exploring strategies for helping disabled people sleep better. From a studypublished in Research in Developmental Disabilities: “While a number of behavioral interventions have proven effective in the treatment of sleep disturbance and drug therapy involving melatonin appears promising, epidemiologic work on the correlates with sleep disorders appears to have little impact on treatment”.

In the absence of substantive scientific research, people with disabilities may alleviate the symptoms of disordered sleeping with specialized beds, mattresses, assistive devices and bedding accessories. Read on to learn more about some of the most popular products on the market.

Bedding Products for People with Disabilities

Beds and Bedding Accessories

First, let’s look at some types of beds commonly used by disabled sleepers.

Adjustable bed frames are ideal for people with disabilities that affect their physical capacity. Most models sold today are electric and remote-controlled, allowing users to adjust the position and sleeping angle with minimal effort. Many adjustable beds can also be raised at the foot (or bottom), allowing people with circulation problems to elevate their legs and be as comfortable as possible.

Technically a type of adjustable bed, chair beds can easily toggle between a recliner and a horizontal surface. Chair beds are ideal for people with restricted daily mobility.

Similar to adjustable beds, a turning bed features a mattress that can be rotated to accommodate different sleep positions. Since some disabled people cannot easily move themselves in bed, turning beds are a useful way to prevent physical problems that arise from laying in the same position for long periods of time.

Low-profile beds are designed to lay close to the ground — usually 10 inches in height or less. Many disabled people experience pain or pressure when attempting to get out of relatively high-profile beds. Low-profile beds address this concern, and also offer a safer alternative for people who may roll or fall out of bed more easily due to their disability.

Assistive Bedding Devices

In addition to specialized bed frames, disabled people may also get some much-needed help from assistive bedding devices. These include the following:

Bed rails span the length of the user’s bed, and are usually affixed to the mattress or bed frame for maximum stability. Properly installed rails will form a barrier that prevents people from rolling out of bed. These devices suitable for people with sleep disorders that cause them to thrash or act out in the night, as well as anyone who is at-risk of falling out of bed and experiencing a serious injury (such as an elderly person or someone with a physical disability). For optimal comfort, bed rail pads can be used to form a softer buffer between the sleeper and the rail.

Grab handles (also known as lifting poles) come in several different forms. Some are attached to the bed or wall surfaces, while others are freestanding and can be placed on floors near the bed. These handles are especially helpful for people who need assistance getting into/out of bed, laying down and/or sitting upright, including those who get around in wheelchairs.

Hand blocks are compact, portable weighted handles that can be attached to the headboard or other areas of the bed frame. When evenly placed on either side, the blocks allow users to push down and lift themselves several inches with minimal effort. These blocks can be beneficial for people with chronic joint or back pain, as well as people who rely on bedpans.

Rope ladders provide a similar service as hand blocks. Attached to the headboard, footboard or side of the bed frame, these ladders feature rungs to help people pull themselves up. Caregivers and attendants should ensure that at least the first rung is within reach at all times.

Bed steps are essentially step ladders designed for people who need help getting into and out of bed — although these are not normally needed for individuals who sleep in low-profile beds. Steps are suitable for physically disabled people, the elderly and anyone else with knee/joint pain and/or mobility impairments.

Headboard pads are soft cushions positioned against the headboard in order to prevent nighttime head and neck injuries. These pads can also improve comfort for people who spend long periods of time sitting up in bed during the day or night.

Like headboard pads, floor pads are designed to provide cushioning and prevent serious injuries. The pads should be placed anywhere on the floor where someone could land after a fall (both sides of the bed, if applicable). Floor pads are commonly used if rails are unavailable.

Mattresses and Mattress Accessories

Next, let’s look at some specialized mattresses and mattress accessories that can help disabled sleepers.

Due to the prevalence of incontinence and nocturia (or nighttime urination) among disabled individuals, waterproof mattresses are widely used in nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the country. These mattresses are usually made of vinyl/PVC, polyurethane and other slick, durable materials that do not absorb urine or allow puddles to accumulate. When properly cleaned on a regular basis, these mattresses will not stain or acquire a bad smell over time. Waterproof mattress covers, duvets and pillowcases are also widely available.

Often used in hospitals and rehabilitation clinics, specialized air mattresses are designed to improve circulation in people with bloodflow impairments and maximize comfort while sleeping. These mattresses may also prevent conditions that arise from prolonged bedrest, such as shearing or bed sores.

Mattresses made of ultrasoft materials — such as memory foam or latex mattresses — create a contouring surface that is designed to cradle the sleeper’s body and relieve pressure points. These conditions may be ideal for people with certain physical disabilities, or other sleepers living with high levels of chronic back, shoulder and/or joint pain.

Alternatively, exceptionally firm mattresses tend to provide sufficient support for people who weigh 230 pounds or more; this is often the best option for individuals with disabilities that are linked to high rates of obesity, such as Down syndrome.

Mattress elevators are adjustable metal frames that are placed beneath a mattress to provide the best angle for sleeping. They may be placed at the head or foot of the mattress to address different disabilities and physical conditions. Mattress elevators are often a cheaper alternative to mechanized adjustable beds.

Pillows and Additional Accessories

Finally, let’s look at some pillows and other accessories that can be used to facilitate and improve sleep for disabled individuals.

Pillows often play a key role in the sleep patterns of disabled people. Neck pillows made of memory foam or other supportive materials can be very beneficial for people who have experienced serious neck injuries, or deal with chronic neck, back and shoulder pain. Likewise, body pillows provide cushioning and support for people with intellectual disabilities and others who are prone to nighttime thrashing.

Pillow elevators, like mattress elevators, are customizable frames used to adjust the angle for maximum comfort. These elevators can be used to prop up pillows beneath the head when the user would like to sit up in bed, or under the knees to improve circulation and sleeping comfort.

White-noise machines are designed to reduce background sounds and replace them with soothing static. These machines are ideal for people with insomnia and other sleep disorders, as well as those with disabilities linked to sleep deprivation or loss.

Snoring is a serious issue for millions of Americans because the staggered breathing associated with snoring can lead to sleep fragmentation or disruption. Higher rates of snoring have been linked to certain disabilities, including Down syndrome and ASD, as well a sleep conditions like apnea. There is no known cure for snoring, but many experts agree that anti-snoring mouthpieces are the most effective way to suppress snoring symptoms; these devices fit between the teeth much like dental retainers. Anti-snoring chinstraps, specialized pillows and nasal plugs are also available.

Another possibility for heavy snorers: continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machines, which feature a mask that fits over the face to ensure steady airflow throughout the night. CPAP machines are a bit extreme — but this may be the best remedy for people with severe snoring problems.

 Online Resources 

Visit the online resources below for more information about the link between disabilities and sleep, as well as some products and treatment methods for disabled people with sleep problems. Also be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to Sleep and Aging.

Intellectual Disabilities and Sleep

  • Sleep in Individuals with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability: This exhaustive study published in 2014 looks at sleep issues, treatments and intervention techniques for people with different cognitive disabilities, as well as ASD.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Down Syndrome: This article from the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) examines the relationship between these two conditions. According to the authors, apnea is quite common in young people with Down syndrome; roughly 60% display abnormal sleep symptoms by age four.
  • This Is Why You’re Tired: Originally published in ADDitude magazine, this article explores the most common sleep disturbances — as well as some effective treatments — for adults and children with ADHD who experience sleep disruption or loss.
  • Sleep in Children with Fragile X Syndrome: This 2011 study looks at the myriad of sleep problems that generally affect young people with Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic disorder that typically leads to intellectual disabilities.
  • Significant Improvement in Sleep in People with Intellectual Disabilities…: Published by the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research in 2009, this extensive study pinpoints some of the most common sleep problems among disabled people living in care-based facilities, as well as some of the most effective, non-pharmaceutical interventions for these issues.

Physical Disabilities and Sleep

  • How to Sleep Better: Daytime and nighttime interventions are included in this guide from the Healthy Aging Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, which notes that roughly 40% of people with physical disabilities also experience sleep problems.
  • Get the Sleep You Need!: Published by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, this detailed guide discusses how people with MS can identify a sleep disorder and adopt healthy sleep habits. The NMMS site also features a helpful video tutorial on this subject.
  • Cerebral Palsy and Sleep Issues: This article from Cerebral Palsy Guidance lists some common reasons for sleep problems in children with CP — including chronic pain, acid reflux and respiratory issues — and offers some interventive advice for parents.
  • For Muscular Dystrophy Patients, Targeted Therapy for Sleep Disorders Helps: This 2017 article from Sleep Review explored some cutting-edge ways that doctors are helping muscular dystrophy patients address their sleep problems. The article notes that 18% of MD patients have OSA, 27% have respiratory failure and 30% experience regular daytime sleepiness.
  • Hypermobility Syndrome: This guide from patient.info looks at the condition known as hypermobility syndrome, which typically affects people who live in wheelchairs; disrupted sleep is one common symptom of the condition.

 

Sensory Disabilities and Sleep

  • Non-24: This website is dedicated to Non-24 sleep wake disorder, a condition that desynchronizes circadian rhythms and causes nighttime disruptions; the disorder is highly prevalent in totally and partially blind people.
  • Treatments for Delayed Sleep Phase and Non-24: This article from the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network explores the most effective treatments for sleep disorders that mostly affect blind people; techniques include hygiene improvements, light therapy and light restriction (also known as ‘dark therapy’).
  • Helping Your Deaf Child Get a Good Night’s Sleep: According to this guide from the UK’s National Deaf Children’s Society, parents of deaf children can improve sleep patterns through soothing techniques, lights and technological devices.
  • Sleep Apnea Linked to Sudden Hearing Loss: In some cases, sleep disorders can be used as predictors for late-onset disabilities. That is the hypothesis of this study published in The Hearing Journal, which notes a higher rate of hearing loss in patients (primarily men) who experience sleep apnea earlier in life.
  • Sleep Problems in Children with Autism: This study from the European Sleep Research Society identifies some sleep patterns and problems associated with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). According to the study’s findings, the most common issues include difficulty falling and/or staying asleep, nighttime waking and enuresis (or bedwetting).

Mental Illnesses, Neurological Disabilities and Sleep

  • The Connection Between Sleep and Mental Health: Insomnia and other sleep-loss disorders affect people with many different mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD. This thorough guide from the National Alliance on Mental Illness covers causes, symptoms and possible treatment strategies.
  • Sleep Deprivation and Depression: What’s the Link?: This article from WebMD examines the relationship between depression and insomnia, and calls out some of the most effective antidepressant medications and non-pharmaceutical treatments available.
  • Sleep Disorders: According to this article from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, mental health issues like anxiety and sleep disorders like insomnia share a complex, ‘chicken and egg’ relationship; the article goes on to explore treatment techniques for people with anxiety who experience insomnia, and vice versa.
  • Sundowning, Sleep, Alzheimer’s and Dementia: People with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia commonly experience sundowning, or behavioral problems that persist throughout the night. Learn more about sundowning and other dementia-related sleep disorders in this guide from the Alzheimer’s Association.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Published by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, this article looks at some common sleep issues — including sleep disruptions and daytime drowsiness — that frequently affect people with the neurodegenerative disease known as Parkinson’s.

Resources for Caregivers

  • Seeking that Elusive Good Night’s Sleep: This introductory guide from the National Caregiver Alliance discusses some common sleep problems in disabled people, as well as some intervention techniques that caregivers can use to help their patients sleep better.
  • Sundowning and Sleeping: Help for Caregivers: A large number of people with dementia receive facility- or home-based care, and this guide from Virginia Navigator explores some effective ways for caregivers to help their patients overcome sundowning and get the rest they need on a nightly basis.
  • Sleep and Caregivers: In addition to disabled people, the individuals who care for the disabled also experience sleep problems on a relatively frequent basis. This guide from Canadian Virtual Hospice looks at some ways that some reasons for this trend — as well as effective measures that caregivers can take to improve their own sleep patterns.   

Source: Dealing with Disabilities

Do you want to laugh at this horrible truth???

I still have this horrible trouble answering questions!

Language is difficult for me.  Organizing my thoughts is even harder.  Even now…If you and I were to briefly speak to one another, ….you might think my cognition was fine.   (Click on first picture.)

That’s great, don’t you agree?  But if you were to ask me an open ended question, you would probably draw a different conclusion. (Click on second picture.)

I am lucky I can laugh at this!!!!