The benefits of a weighted blanket are so often discussed in relation to toddlers and children that often, it’s easy to forget about weighted blankets for adults and the elderly. These blankets, which are, naturally, larger and heavier than weighted blankets for kids, are made in essentially the same way, with quilted squares used to evenly distribute the weight of the blanket (weighted blankets generally cost between $60 and 175, depending on size, weight and fabric choice). If you’re responsible for caring for an adult or senior -- or even just shopping for yourself -- then it’s good to know a few of the reasons people might benefit from weighted blankets for adults:
If They Have Alzheimer’s Disease
Although most of the evidence is still anecdotal, some home health agencies and nursing homes have found that weighted blankets can be used to calm and comfort Alzheimer’s patients who become agitated. And since the elderly are often cold as well, the warmth of a weighted blanket is a comfortable bonus.
If They Have an Autism Spectrum Disorder
Fortunately, public awareness about autism spectrum disorders is growing: One out of every 42 boys and one out of every 189 girls has an ASD, averaging out to about one in 68 children. But it’s often forgotten that those children grow up and there are therefore autistic adults, as well. More than 3.5 million Americans currently live with an ASD, and people often struggle to care for these adults once school support ends. But many people have found that weighted blankets can be useful in calming people with autism and helping them focus.
If They Suffer From Anxiety
Adults who suffer from anxiety can often benefit from weighted blankets because the amount of weight -- tailored to the user’s body weight so it’s neither too heavy nor too light -- provides the same protective sensation as a firm hug.
If They Have Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory Processing Disorder is a diagnosis that describes problems in the way the neurological system responds to sensory stimuli (you can see some of our recent blogs for more information). Although many diagnoses for SPD are made in school-aged children, more and more adults are starting to self-diagnose as awareness increases. If you’re among them, weighted sensory blankets can help you to experience the deep pressure than many people with SPD need.
If They Have Trouble Sleeping
Many adults find, even if they haven’t been diagnosed with a sleeping disorder of some kind, that they struggle to get deep, restful sleep -- or tend to sleep better in the winter, when they’re covered in heavy comforters. Weighted blankets can create that same sense of pressure that aids sleep without the unnecessary warmth, making it possible to sleep better year-round.
Do you have any questions about weighted blankets for adults? Ask or share your own thoughts in the comments.