You will gain knowledge about weighted blankets for elders in the following post. It has been asserted that weighted blankets can alleviate the symptoms of a wide variety of conditions; hence, we shall investigate whether or not these assertions are supported by any evidence.
In recent years, weighted blankets have emerged from their status as a specialized therapy product used primarily by medical experts and therapists to into the common market.
Weighted blankets were initially employed to assist in the treatment of diseases such as autism; today, however, they are claimed to treat a variety of illnesses. Insomnia, stress, and anxiety disorders are all included in this category.
Unfortunately, there have been a few tragic examples of young children suffocating while using these blankets, despite the fact that they are also sold as a technique to quiet down hyperactive youngsters while they are sleeping. This is the case despite the fact that they are marketed in this manner.
Since you are here reading this, it is probable that someone has suggested a weighted blanket for either you or a senior member of your family. Alternatively, you may have read about weighted blankets in a publication or on the internet.
But do they really function, and are they something that you need to have? Let’s find out.
What Are Weighted Blankets Really Consist Of?
Blankets with heavy filling are known as weighted blankets. This filling contributes a significant amount of weight to the overall blanket. The purpose of this is not to insulate the blanket, and hence make it warmer; rather, it is to create the sensation of pressure that comes from having a heavy blanket pulled down on your body by gravity. Because of this, you could also hear them referred to as gravity blankets.
The same way that conventional blankets are used while sleeping, weighted blankets can also be used. Alternately, it can be utilized as a therapeutic treatment to help calm down the body when disturbed, stressed, anxious, or when one is suffering from sleeplessness.
In most cases, a weighted blanket will include the following components: the blanket itself, the stuffing, and the cover.
In most cases, the blanket is constructed from polyester, cotton, silk, or some other fabric that is suited for blankets. On the interior, there will normally be a layer of cushioning that may be constructed out of cotton, fleece, polyester, or down.
The weight of the blanket is what differentiates an ordinary blanket from a weighted blanket. The actual weights are often hidden away in pouches or compartments that are located between the layers of padding. These could be made of steel bbs, glass beads, sand, pebbles, or hard plastic pellets. Grain could also be included.
What Are the Advantages of Using Weighted Blankets?
At first, weighted blankets were designed to help autistic children, who often experience an overwhelming level of sensory input, feel more at ease.
It was discovered that the weight of the blanket and the comfort it provided autistic people helped to calm down their nervous systems, which in turn helped them relax and get to sleep faster.
Deep pressure stimulation, a form of therapy in which patients apply pressure to their bodies with their hands in order to alleviate symptoms such as pain and anxiety, is simulated using weighted blankets.
One way to consider the effect of the blanket on the nervous system is that it creates the sensation of being embraced, which in turn helps to relax the body.
Hence, naturally weighted blankets may also have a relaxing impact on those who do not suffer from autism.
Because of this, weighted blanks have been used and advised for the treatment of a wide variety of conditions including ADHD, sleeplessness, anxiety, chronic pain, and stress reduction.
Does Using a Weighted Blanket Really Help?
At the very least, studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of weighted blankets as a treatment for insomnia, anxiety, ADHD-related sleeplessness, and chronic pain.
The research have only had a limited number of participants, so the findings are only preliminary. In my perspective, there are not a lot of implications that can be derived from them.
There have been some encouraging findings, but given the design of these trials, it is impossible to say for certain whether or not the participants were just given a fake treatment.
However, there is now more anecdotal evidence than scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of weighted blankets. While they can feel constricting or excessively heated, some individuals find them quite pleasant, but others may find them uncomfortable or even intolerable. The primary reason for this is that they can cause an increase in body temperature.
Having said that, a lot of people claim that using a weighted blanket helps them relax, gets them to sleep better at night, and lessens the intensity of their chronic pain. This is where the majority of the therapeutic value that they provide for senior citizens rests.
The following is a list of the benefits of using a weighted blanket for senior citizens.
Weighted blankets are specially designed blankets that are stuffed with varying amounts of weight (often between 5 and 30 pounds), and their purpose is to produce a deep pressure touch stimulation (DPTS). The effect of this pressure, which has the potential to have a sedative and reassuring effect on the body, is similar to that of being hugged or embraced. The use of a weighted blanket provides seniors with a number of benefits, including the following:
Improved Sleep Quality A large number of elderly people experience sleep problems as a result of a variety of circumstances, including ongoing pain, anxiety, despair, or insomnia that is age-related. Studies have indicated that using a weighted blanket can enhance the quality of sleep by shortening the amount of time it takes to get to sleep, lowering the number of times a person wakes up during the night, and lengthening the amount of time spent in deeper stages of sleep.
Decreased Feelings of Anxiety and Stress Feelings of anxiety and stress may be experienced by seniors as a result of a variety of circumstances, including concerns about their health, worries about their finances, or feelings of social isolation. The deep pressure touch stimulation that is offered by a weighted blanket can assist to reduce the levels of worry and tension that one is experiencing. This is accomplished by boosting the production of the hormone serotonin, which helps to regulate mood and create feelings of tranquility.
Seniors who suffer from ailments that cause chronic pain, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or neuropathy, may find that using a weighted blanket provides them with relief from their symptoms. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers, and when the pressure from the blanket is applied, it can help to promote the production of these endorphins, which in turn can assist to alleviate pain.
Increased Mood: The sedative and soothing properties of a weighted blanket can assist to enhance a senior’s mood and alleviate some of the symptoms of depression that they may be experiencing. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and increases sensations of pleasure and reward. The deep pressure touch stimulation encourages the release of dopamine, which in turn helps to regulate mood.
Improved Focus and Attention It has been demonstrated that the use of weighted blankets can increase concentration and attention in children who suffer from ADHD. It is possible that the same benefits can be extended to older adults who suffer from cognitive decline or attention issues.
While shopping for a weighted blanket for seniors, it is essential to take a number of considerations into account, including the blanket’s weight, dimensions, and material. The weight of the blanket should be sufficient to exert the desired pressure without making it unmanageably heavy. Moreover, it should be crafted from a material that allows air circulation and is simple to clean and care for. When trying to identify the ideal weight for a senior based on their unique requirements and preferences, it is best to seek the advice of a qualified medical specialist.
Things to Consider About Safety
If you or a loved one is very fragile and unable to hoist the blanket on their own, utilizing it can be risky. This is an important safety factor for older people and should be taken into mind. Someone who uses a weighted blanket should be physically able to remove the blanket from their body if it becomes necessary to do so.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea or asthma, you should not use weighted blankets because the additional strain on your ribs can make your symptoms worse. Instead, you should avoid using a regular blanket.
If you have claustrophobia, using a weighted blanket is not a good idea because of the feeling of pressure that it creates on your body, which can provoke a panic attack. Because of this, using a weighted blanket is not recommended.
Advice for Using a Weighted Blanket
I would recommend that you purchase a high-quality blanket from a manufacturer that offers at least a 30-day full refund policy. This is due to the fact that some individuals find weighted blankets to be very reassuring and relaxing, while others don’t find any benefit from using them and even dislike them. In this way, if you decide that weighted blankets are not for you, you won’t be forced to keep the blanket even if you change your mind.
Should you make the decision to purchase a weighted blanket, my advice is that you invest in a high-quality model. There are some inexpensive blankets available on the market, but they are typically not very heavy, and the filler material might bunch up, which can cause the blanket to be unpleasant and droopy.
Yet, weighted blankets are becoming increasingly popular among individuals of all ages, including elderly. This trend is not limited to younger generations. These blankets have the potential to not only deliver a sense of comfort and security, but also a number of benefits to one’s health. When shopping for a weighted blanket suited for elders, it is essential to take a number of considerations into account, including the product’s weight, dimensions, composition, and simplicity of usage. The following are some weighted blankets that are recommended for senior citizens:
The following are some of the highest rated and best quality weighted blankets that can be purchased from Amazon (these links are affiliate links, and if you purchase through them I will make a little profit that will help me run this site):
The Quility Premium Adult Weighted Blanket is a weighted blanket that comes in a variety of sizes and weights, making it simple to pick one that is suitable for an elderly person. Cotton, which allows air to circulate through the material, is used to construct it, and a velour cover provides additional coziness.
YnM Weighted Blanket: This blanket is constructed entirely of cotton and is offered in a range of weights in addition to a variety of sizes. It is built with multiple little compartments to prevent bunching and guarantee that the weight is distributed evenly throughout the product.
The Luna Weighted Blanket is a cuddly, breathable cotton blanket that comes in a variety of sizes and weights to meet your specific needs. It is constructed of glass beads for weight, and the lid can be removed so that it may be washed more easily.
The ZonLi Weighted Blanket is a comfortable and breathable blanket that comes in a variety of weights and sizes. It is composed of soft cotton that is breathable. It is made up of a lot of little compartments so that the weight is distributed evenly and there is no shifting.
The Harkla Weighted Blanket is a weighted blanket that is composed of a fabric that is both soft and comforting, and it is available in a variety of weights and sizes. It is machine washable for convenience, and it is built with small squares to guarantee that weight is distributed evenly across the product.
While shopping for a weighted blanket for an elderly person, it is essential to check with that person’s healthcare professional to ensure that the blanket is suitable for their specific requirements as well as their current state of health. Also, it is advisable to begin with a lower weight and progressively raise this as the exercise progresses. In general, a weighted blanket can offer seniors the benefits of relaxation, comfort, and possibly even some positive effects on their health.
I sincerely hope that you found our guide about weighted blankets for seniors to be informative and helpful. In the event that you have any inquiries, please don’t hesitate to post them in the comments box below, and I will do my best to respond.
Unfortunately, this is based primarily on anecdotal evidence, and there has been very little scientific research done on the effectiveness of weighted blankets for the time being. Weighted blankets can help you feel more at ease and improve the quality of your sleep, but the evidence supporting this claim comes primarily from personal experiences.
If you suffer from insomnia or poor sleep quality, it may be worthwhile to give one a try because some individuals claim that they are beneficial in helping people fall asleep and stay asleep for longer periods of time.
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It doesn’t matter how old or heavy a senior is; using a weighted blanket is perfectly safe for them.
They actually provide a whole range of benefits for the aged, some of which include aiding with insomnia, stress, melancholy, Alzheimer’s symptoms, anxiety, combating RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome), and providing a better overall quality of sleep.
Those who suffer from sleep apnea, asthma, low blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, or claustrophobia should not use weighted blankets since they could make their symptoms worse. Weighted blankets are not recommended for people who have chronic respiratory or circulatory disorders.
There is a wide range of recommended weights for a weighted blanket, ranging from 5% to 12% of the user’s body weight. However, the majority of people find that a weighted blanket that weighs roughly 10% of their body weight is most comfortable.
A proper blanket, despite its weight, should give the user the ability to move around while remaining comfortable. 25-60 lbs