Caring for an elderly person is often a challenging experience. We all want to do the best for our loved ones, making sure that they are well looked after and supported. However, caring for the elderly, whether relatives or others close to us, can take its toll on our own physical and emotional well being, particularly if it impacts upon our own sleep and relationships.

Who needs night-care?

Night time presents particular safety issues for elderly people, particularly those suffering from mobility problems or physical limitations following surgery. If you’re caring for an elderly person, you may find that you’re needing to get up numerous times during the night, to help your loved one go to the toilet, or simply to provide companionship when they’re struggling to stay asleep.

Your loved one may suffer from memory problems or difficulties with their vision, which lead to disorientation and make it difficult for them to get up safely in the night to go to the toilet without support. Alternatively, they may need medication at night, which requires the input of a carer to administer and ensure appropriate dosage.

Those with dementia, Alzheimer’s or mental health problems often need additional support and supervision as they may become confused and need reassurance, particularly in the dark, when the unfamiliar world can seem particularly troubling.

Elderly people who have illnesses or mobility problems may also need extensive care and support during the night. Those who have spent time in hospital may also require extra care around the clock, to allow them to receive the necessary medication and ensure that they do not interrupt their recuperation by attempting to get up unassisted.

Why get in outside support with caring?

Without regular, unbroken sleep, your own physical and mental health is likely to suffer, leaving you less able to support your loved one and navigate the personal challenges of caring for an elderly relative. Moreover, you may find that the burden of caring for them during the night interferes with your ability to care for others, such as younger children.

The demands of caring for an older person during the night is also likely to take its toll on your intimate relationships; you may find that you need to spend the night in the same room as an elderly loved one in order to keep a watchful eye on them, meaning that you’re unable to be with your partner.

If this scenario sounds familiar, then it might be time to consider seeking outside support. One of the main benefits of night care is that it will allow you to sleep soundly and recover your emotional and physical strength, safe in the knowledge that your loved one is in the best possible hands during the night.

Types of care

The type of care your loved one will need depends on their specific requirements. We offer hand-picked providers, suited to the needs of you and your loved one. We offer both a sleeping night service where a carer is on-hand during the night, but able to sleep, and waking care, where the carer is awake and ready to attend to the needs of an elderly person throughout the night.

Waking care

Elderly people who need more extensive or frequent support are better supported by the waking night services we can arrange for you.

While a sleeping carer can help to settle an anxious elderly person during the night, regular incidents of wakefulness, coupled with confusion, are best supported by a waking carer. Those that struggle with distinguishing between day and night-time may feel particularly unsettled, making a waking carer the most suitable choice. An elderly person with mental health needs which might put their wellbeing or even their life at risk will also need the close watch and support provided by a waking carer.

If the elderly person needs specialist or more frequent medication, then waking care is the ideal choice to ensure that your loved one is appropriately supported. Those who require palliative care to remain comfortable at home will almost certainly need the level of attention provided by a waking night-time carer.

Sleeping care

Sleeping care is appropriate for elderly people who require support with basic needs such as going to the toilet, administering pain relief, or emotional support if they wake up during the night. A sleeping carer will wake to look after your loved one when needed, helping them with mobility, medication or just settling them down if they are restless, anxious or confused.

Having a sleeping carer available to look after your loved one can provide peace of mind if you have recently noticed that your loved one is now struggling to take care of themselves during the night, or if you have been attending to these needs yourself.

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Working with one of our carefully chosen night-time carers is a good way to ensure that your elderly loved ones are looked after, while allowing you to get the restful sleep that will help support your own wellbeing. Whether a sleeping or waking carer is the most suitable choice depends on the level of care and frequency of attention that your loved one needs. If you’re unsure, it’s worth trying the option which you think would be most appropriate, to see how well night-time care works for you and your elderly loved one. While, at first, it can be difficult to hand over the care of a loved one to someone else, you’re likely to find that working with a specialist night-time carer, specifically chosen to meet your needs, is in everyone’s best interests, supporting a healthy lifestyle for the whole family.

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