There’s new research from the University of California that states the problems surrounding older people and their sleep, while offering few solutions. This is a somewhat sad trend when it comes to research affecting the aging members of our society. When people are younger and more energetic, they will contribute to the growth and development of the American way of life. Equally important is their personal earning capacity. To maintain their quality of life, they will often pay the medical profession well. Those who are older have less to contribute and, while some do have money, there’s less that can be done to improve the quality of life when bodies have aged. Although Sarah Palin was exaggerating the threat of “death panels” to drum up opposition to reform, we have a comparable effect already in the rationing of research into the health problems of the old, and in the poor quality of healthcare services in the geriatric sector. People do have shorter lives in the US than in many other countries around the world.
According to the research, about half the seniors in the US complain of difficulty in sleeping. It’s suggested that lack of sleep increases the risk of illness and early death. The question, therefore, is why seniors do find sleep more difficult. The answers are not directly related to age as such, but to the facts that older people are more prone to diseases and disorders, use more medications which have insomnia as a side effect, and find their circadian rhythms disrupted. Unfortunately, the research also finds the healthcare service is not sympathetic to these problems and fails to properly diagnose sleep disorders or give the appropriate treatment (including simply adjusting the dosages in medications probably contributing to the sleep disorder). At present, there’s no financial incentive for hospitals and clinics to divert resources to treat these problems. Although seniors can use their own savings to go to professional sleep laboratories for overnight assessment with a polysomnogram, the necessary follow-up treatments through counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy is often neglected because it’s not considered cost-effective. Necessary dentistry or, where appropriate, surgery is a one-off cost and preferred where appropriate. But, for the most part, seniors are left to fend for themselves.
The University of California is unable to offer any solutions to these problems. The dominance of capitalism in the healthcare industry means service providers will make the decisions giving them the best profit opportunities. Seniors do not fit into this system. They do better under systems of socialized medicine. The result is that American seniors are driven into the waiting arms of the pharmaceutical industry. Those who worry about lack of sleep rather than adapting to a different flow of life buy ambien online. This is the cheap solution to their problems. Ambien works within about ten minutes of taking the pill and lying down. Whether in conventional form or as ambien cr, seniors can then sleep through the night. It’s not the ideal solution and the continuing cost can slowly drain savings. But, in a culture that’s relatively uncaring, there should be no expectation of entitlement to quality of life. In America, you get what you pay for.