A big concern for many seniors and
their caretakers are the potential problems that may arise after the
caretaker has left for the day.
Loneliness, boredom, and risk of
accidents or medical problems are often feared at night.
Incontinence, navigation through a dark house, and fear of falling
are all night-time issues that many seniors face.
Providing night care offers a
higher degree of safety and the ability to respond quickly to any
emergency. Fear factors are reduced for both the senior and
the caregiver and very often friendships develop.
Night care service providers are
often Companions as well, though there
are strict rules that must be followed. Night care providers
must have a private place to sleep though a big part of their
purpose is to assist a senior that must get up in the middle of the
night to help with bathroom care, assist with medication, or many
other events that can be problematic. They are not there
however, to provide company in the middle of the night if the senior
just cannot sleep.
Even though night care providers
often spend much of their time sleeping, they are officially on the
clock as long as they are present in the house. Their job is
to be there for emergency purposes and for when there are physical
problems that must be dealt with during the night.
Check with your night care provider
to see if they provide monitoring/notification equipment or if that
is up to you. It can go either way. Monitoring equipment
provides a live radio link between the two bedrooms so that if there
are noises, the night care worker can hear and respond. This
type of equipment is often the same that is used by mothers of
infants who need to hear when the baby wakes up.
This kind of monitoring is often
used but can be somewhat inconvenient when the senior makes a great
deal of normal night noise like snoring, coughing, or tosses in bed
Notification equipment is slightly
different. There is not a live radio feed between the two
bedrooms but pressing a call button creates that live connection,
much like the call button in a hospital room. In most
instances and when the senior is in full control of mental faculties
or as long as there are no concerns over the senior's ability to ask
for help, this is the best option.