Webinar Will Make Treating Sleep Disorders a Dream

December 5, 2019


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With sleep disorders common in older adults, including up to two-thirds of post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) residents, managing these issues can keep practitioners up at night. The good news, says Christopher Kitamura, MD, FRCPC, staff psychiatrist at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto, Canada, is that “treatment options are available and can be adapted to the long-term care setting.” He will share these insights and more during a Society webinar, Sleep Disorders in Older Adults, set for December 11.

The program will explore normal and abnormal sleep patterns in older adults and help clinicians more effectively assess and manage insomnia and other common sleep disorders. Dr. Kitamura also will discuss practical approaches for integrating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia (CBTi) into one’s practice.

“Optimal treatment of sleep problems first demands a comprehensive assessment, followed by individualized behavioral and, where appropriate, pharmacologic treatments,” says Dr. Kitamura. He further observes, “CBTi works in older adults, but training is often lacking. At the same time, CBTi may require adaptation due to health status [e.g., cognitive disorders] and institutional settings, for which guiding evidence is lacking.” He will address the challenges of offering behavioral interventions, especially in resource-scarce settings. Additionally, he will briefly discuss hypnotic prescribing practices.

Dr. Kitamura also will talk about the connection between sleep problems and other illnesses/conditions and the importance of addressing patients holistically. He says, “Insomnia can be a symptom of comorbid health, treatment, and environmental factors. It also is a risk factor for comorbid illness, falls, mortality, costs of care, and overall reduced quality of life.”

When the webinar is over, Dr. Kitamura says, “I hope that participants will have a greater understanding of normal and abnormal sleep in older adults and feel confident utilizing both behavioral and pharmacologic approaches to treating sleep disorders. I also will share ideas to overcome barriers to implementing good sleep interventions in this care setting.” In the end, his audience will likely sleep better too.

Click here for more information or to register. As always, this webinar is free for Society members.