If you are a family caregiver, you need to take a break at night too. However, instead of resting, you sometimes end up staying awake most times of the night taking care of your aging loved one. Fortunately, you can hire an overnight caregiver to help you rest up at night, while ensuring that your loved one is getting the best care that he or she needs. When you have a good night’s rest, you can better take care of your loved one during the day.
However, it is quite difficult to decide when and who to hire for overnight home care. There are many things you need to consider. In this article, we will discuss in detail what is overnight care, what are its benefits, and what are the tell-tale signs that your loved one already needs such care. We will also discuss some tips on hiring a caregiver, as well as the pricing options. You and your senior loved one deserve to be healthy, safe, and contended.
Understanding Overnight Care for Elderly
Overnight care is a type of care provided to seniors who need help at night, as well as early in the morning. Such assistance is helpful for families and their aging loved ones who need more comprehensive care. Those who need assistance during their bedtime routine, and those who often wake up several times at night or who suffer from insomnia will benefit from getting overnight care.
Having a caregiver overnight ensures that someone will be there to monitor and assist your elderly loved one throughout the night. With a caregiver assisting you at night, you will be able to rest up and save energy for the next day. This type of care is suited for family members who are taking care of their elderly loved ones during the day, but are unable to provide such care at night. This setup is a cheaper alternative to a 24-hour care or live-in care. It’s a more convenient option than a residential facility.
For most seniors, daytime care is sufficient. Their usual needs are already covered: assistance with daily living, meal preparation, bathing, dressing, grocery shopping, and companionship. However, for the elderly with progressive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, a greater and more comprehensive care is needed. This is where overnight care comes in.
When Do Your Aging Loved One Need Overnight Care
As much as we would like to be always there for our elderly loved ones, we cannot just can’t. We cannot be effective at taking care of them when we don’t have full time and attention. To give them the best care that they deserve, we need to take a physical and mental break and let professional caregivers take care of them at night.
The question is: when can you say that your loved one already needs overnight care? Families have trouble knowing when is the right time to hire overnight senior care. Thus, to help you decide, we have listed the signs, conditions, symptoms, and situations to watch out for.
Your elderly loved one needs an overnight care under the following circumstances:
- Seniors who have Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia, or if they are prone to wander especially at night.
- The elderly are already forgetful and are prone to bringing harm to themselves or to others.
- Clients who are recovering from a medical procedure or major surgery.
- If they require continuous monitoring due to a medical condition.
- If their mobility is extremely limited and they need assistance with going out of bed or going to the restroom at night.
- If they need an overnight administration of their medication.
- If the senior is suicidal or depressed.
A family member can only do so much.Under any of the circumstances mentioned above, it is better to seek assistance from a professional caregiver to keep your loved one safe at night. Depending on your loved one’s condition, you may need to get a home health aid or a non-medical caregiver.
Benefits of Overnight Care for Seniors
Hiring an overnight caregiver has plenty of advantages. For one, you and the rest of the family will be able to rest easy since a more qualified caregiver is taking care of your loved one. The caregiver can provide skilled care, constant monitoring, and supervision overnight. With such a care, you will have peace of mind knowing that a professional is assisting your loved ones with their needs from bedtime until morning, making sure that everything is well taken care of: nighttime medication, fall prevention, repositioning, toileting, and others.
In relation to certain conditions, these are the benefits you can expect from an overnight care:
- Conditions that require nighttime supervision. Seniors who are prone to frequent wakefulness and wandering out at night need constant nighttime supervision. Without someone supervising them, their safety will be in jeopardy. They may fall or slip out while walking around. That’s why a caregiver needs to be there to watch over them.
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care. A condition closely associated with nighttime wandering and becoming disoriented at night is Alzheimer’s, as well as other types of dementia. To prevent your loved ones from wandering out of the house at night or getting lost or injuring themselves, it is better if there is an overnight caregiver supervising them. A caregiver will stay awake throughout the night to monitor the condition and activities of your elderly loved one.
- Disabled adults care. If your loved one has disability which restricts his or her mobility, he or she may need overnight care. Disabled adults may need assistance going to the restroom at night. A professional caregiver will assist them with their needs and help them have a good night’s sleep.
- Post-surgery care. Clients who come home from a surgery need extra care and attention for their fast recovery. They need a professional caregiver to take care of them at night. Post-surgery care includes assistance with repositioning, medication reminders, fall prevention, and helping with mobility. To ensure their healthy and safe recovery, it helps if you have a professional taking care of them at night.
- Neuromuscular disorder care. The common neuromuscular disorders include Parkinson’s disease, stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple sclerosis (MS). These conditions affect mobility; thus, they need mobility assistance not only during the day, but also at night. To ensure that they get skilled care and assistance around the clock, hiring a professional caregiver for overnight care is essential.
- Medical care. There are medical conditions, like seizures, that require skilled and continuous supervision. If you provide daytime care for your loved one with such a medical condition, you need someone reliable and skilled to cover you up at night. With a qualified caregiver taking care of your senior loved one, you will have peace of mind at night.
- Mobility assistance. There are plenty of reasons why a senior needs mobility assistance. Whatever is the reason, a senior needs assistance walking around the home or going to the bathroom at night. A caregiver is trained to safely provide mobility assistance and support, among other things.
- Medication schedules. There are certain conditions that require evening medications. Elderly individuals are prone to forgetting about taking their medications. These medications, like blood pressure or anti-seizure drugs, need to be regularly taken. A qualified caregiver sees to it that your loved one will be reminded when to take their medications.
- Forgetfulness. Seniors who are increasingly becoming forgetful need overnight care. They may jeopardize their safety and that of others if no one’s supervising them, especially at night. They may leave the doors open, or turn on the stove and leave it attended. To prevent these from happening, you need an attentive caregiver to monitor your elderly loved one.
- Erratic behavior. Seniors with certain medical conditions like dementia are prone to having emotional outbursts or erratic behavior. When they are alone at night, they can get themselves into dangerous situations. To ensure their safety, an overnight care is necessary.
- Depression. Depression is closely associated with aging. Many seniors develop depressive thoughts as they age and as their condition deteriorates. Overnight care also involves companionship and providing social and emotional support. This can help seniors ease up.
Payment Options for Overnight Care
Knowing the importance and benefits of overnight care, you may now have decided to get one for your elderly loved one. However, as with other families, you may be concerned about the costs. Unfortunately, the cost is what prevents most families from getting overnight help. No matter how badly they want to help their aging loved one, they are prevented from doing so due to financial reasons.
Here are the things you need to know about the cost of overnight care. Overnight care ranges from 10 to 12 hours of work. Without coverage, this can cost from $120 up to $200 a night. The cost depends on the kind of care required, as well as other factors like where you live and the qualifications of the caregiver hired. In California, if you require the caregiver to stay away throughout the night, the rate is $25 to $35 an hour. You will pay less if there are given sleeping hours in between.
For care that requires medical assistance, Medi-Cal will shoulder some of the home care costs. This only applies if you hire a home health aide for overnight care. Medi-Cal does not cover non-medical overnight care. However, if your loved one is qualified for Medicaid, then the IHSS or the In-Home Supportive Services will help cover the costs.
Considering the benefits you will get from a caregiver agency, it is only reasonable that their rates are higher compared to private home care workers. While private caregivers charge less, they may not be insured, licensed, or bonded. If you choose private caregivers, make sure that you thoroughly check their insurance policy and qualifications. Some non-profits also offer overnight care.
When you think of the cost, you need to consider the benefits your family and aging loved ones will get in return. An overnight care can make a significant difference in your loved one’s quality of life. With a caregiver around, your loved one will remain safe and comfortable even at night. You can also focus on your well-being and attend to other things. Since there are plenty of overnight care options to choose from, you will find something that will suit your needs and budgets.
Additional Tips You Need to Know
If you are a family caregiver and you haven’t hired an overnight caregiver yet, here are some tips and extra measures you can do to keep your loved one safe and sound at night. First, always securely lock all the doors of the house in case the senior is prone to nighttime wandering. This ensures that your loved one won’t get out of the house without you knowing.
Install motion sensor lights in the areas or hallway leading from the senior’s room leading up to the bathroom. In case they get up and go to the bathroom, they will be able to see the way with the lights on. You must also keep the path free from any obstructions. This is to prevent the senior from getting injured or from a fall accident.
Make sure that your senior loved one is not taking caffeinated drinks a few hours before bedtime, so as to prevent nighttime awakenings. Help the senior exercise during the day to promote quality sleep at night. Do not give your loved one any sleeping pill, as this may increase disorientation or interact with the medications they are taking. Lastly, make your loved one’s room as comfortable and sleep-inducing as it can be.
However, it is still best if there is a skilled and qualified caregiver attending to your loved one’s needs throughout the night. Overnight caregivers will stay with the elderly and are always alert and ready to provide assistance and optimum supervision. To get reliable and efficient caregivers, it is best if you hire from a licensed and reputable home care agency.