Seniors often experience more nighttime awakenings than younger folks. A variety of factors, including dementia, can cause this, but for the most part, it’s merely a matter of their circadian rhythm or “body clock” changing. According to the Sleep Foundation, the region of the brain that regulates the body’s regular cycles, especially sleep, can decline as people age. The circadian cycle can then be disrupted, resulting in sleep issues.
In a disorder like dementia, awakening during the night may create confusion and can result in wandering and subsequent sleep disturbances. Hiring an overnight caregiver is a great way to ensure your senior loved one is comfortable and safe while also encouraging appropriate sleep habits and providing adequate care. How do you know it’s time to consider overnight care for your senior loved one?
Why Overnight Care?
In addition to companionship and ensuring safety, an overnight caregiver can assist with toileting, incontinence care, offering fluids, and being a comfort to a senior who is lonely or afraid. At night, seniors with dementia may suffer heightened or amplified symptoms. Sundowning is a term for this. Dementia patients who experience sundowning become more restless or disoriented as the day drags on. As a result, they may experience sleep problems such as insomnia or waking up confused. Monitoring the physical and mental health of a senior loved one is essential. This will help you to determine if your senior might benefit from overnight in-home care.
Indicators That It’s Time to Consider Overnight Care Include:
- Wandering: Whenever a loved one diagnosed with dementia awakens in the middle of the night, he or she may be disoriented as part of the condition’s symptoms. You may have previously spotted your loved one roaming aimlessly around the house at night appearing confused. Hiring an experienced overnight caregiver is an effective way of having a watchful eye on him or her at all times.
- Depressive Thoughts or Behaviors: Seniors are more likely to suffer from depression or loneliness. Overnight care can be beneficial for providing companionship and comfort.
- Memory Loss: Memory loss is a major concern for seniors who live alone. Medication reminders are an important service of home care. Seniors who forget to take their medication could also forget to do other important tasks, such as shutting and locking the doors and windows of their homes at night or making sure that the stove is off before going to bed.
- Frequent Toileting Needs or Incontinence: Overnight coverage can decrease the risk of falls for seniors who get up during the night to use the toilet. Providing your loved ones with overnight care can keep them safe and help meet their basic needs.
Allcare Home Health caregivers provide overnight care for seniors in the Raleigh/Durham area. Call us today to schedule an assessment. (919) 301-0236
Li J, Vitiello MV, Gooneratne NS. Sleep in Normal Aging. Sleep Med Clin. 2018 Mar;13(1):1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2017.09.001. Epub 2017 Nov 21. PMID: 29412976; PMCID: PMC5841578.