What Kind of Mattress is Best for Seniors?

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

July 11, 2017

Home Health Care in Pittsburgh PA: Finding A Good Mattress for your Senior
Home Health Care in Pittsburgh PA: Finding A Good Mattress for your Senior

We’ve all been there.  You’re trying to sleep, but you just can’t get comfortable because of all the lumps in your mattress.  Or maybe it’s too hard and you feel like you’re sleeping on a rock.  You may feel it’s too soft, and your back aches because the mattress won’t support your body while you sleep.
As bad as these things might feel to us, they feel even worse for seniors.  As we age, it gets harder to toss and turn in the night like we’d like to in order to shift into a more comfortable position, so in many cases, the senior has to pick a position and stay stuck there the whole night.  Before you enlist your partner or your home care aide (or yourself) to turn over your aging loved one in their bed every now and then during the night, you might consider helping them out by purchasing a more comfortable bed.
What can you do?
The first step is to think about what sorts of things an elderly person needs from their mattress.  The mattress should be comfortable, but should also be very supportive.  Sore joints and bones made brittle by osteoporosis can greatly benefit from a firm, supportive mattress.  This is especially important when it comes to the joints and bones in the neck because these are often put in awkward positions when we sleep.
You will need a mattress that is comfortable, but firm enough to hold one up, without letting one sink deep down among the fluff and put one’s neck at an odd angle.  It is also important to get a mattress that will not sag in the middle, or create odd lumps, as these put the senior’s body in an uncomfortable position that could harm them in the long run (and make them feel very stiff, sore, and unrested in the meantime.)
Sales records have shown that many seniors prefer a memory foam mattress, which can conform to the shape of their body as they sleep.  These mattresses are both soft and strong, so one won’t sink down into it and create problems with their joints.  This type of mattress runs a bit on the expensive side, but it may be worth it if it means that your loved one can experience a better quality sleep.
It is important to note, though, that while there are some versions of memory foam or memory gel mattresses that sell for a lower price, these versions may be of a lesser quality.  The foam or gel layer in them can break down, leading to that sinking, concave shape that always spells the end of a mattress.
If your loved one is able, you could have them (and their home care aide, if necessary) go with you to a mattress store to pick out their new mattress.  In most stores, the clerks are happy to let people test out the mattresses so they can see which one would be the best fit for them.  This way, your senior could find the exact one they want, and you can sleep better knowing that they are getting a better night’s sleep.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home health care in Pittsburgh, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.
Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551