Tips for looking after an elderly relative overnight

While the night can simply be a time of peaceful slumber for many of us, it can be much more uncomfortable for many older adults. They might often struggle to relax sufficiently to fall asleep – and convoluted sleep patterns can play havoc with such degenerative conditions as dementia.
If you have an elderly relative who is often restless at night, you may be able to personally attest to disruption this has brought to people who live with them. Here are ways that you can help prevent that relative overly suffering as a result of their night struggles.

Closely monitor their sleep patterns

Ideally, your relative should enjoy a lengthy period of largely or entirely uninterrupted sleep every night. However, even on a comfortable night for them, their sleep patterns could noticeably differ to yours, as these patterns can alter with age.
Nonetheless, check whether your loved one wakes up any more often than twice a night. This would be outside the range of normality and suggest that they may require a professional night carer.

Give them enough light and space for trips to the bathroom
Your relative might occasionally want to head out of the bedroom for a toilet trip or some water. That’s fine, but make sure that they will be able to clearly see where they are going when they do.
Look at the paths between both the bed and bathroom and bed and kitchen. Clear them of clutter and any loose rugs over which your loved one could otherwise trip. Also, set up strategically-placed motion sensor lights on both paths.

Counter adverse implications of incontinence issues

Older people can often suffer incontinence, which refers to insufficient control over the bladder. While you would be unable to control the condition itself, you can still prevent damage to the bed if you waterproof the mattress and give your relative adult incontinence underwear.

Seek professional care if this seems warranted

If you are unable to meet all of your relative’s night care requirements yourself, you could seek help from a professional night caregiver. We understand that taking care of a relative overnight can be testing; furthermore, we can take account of their unique needs.

We can do this when putting together a night care service for your relative. A Kentish Homecare caregiver can, if necessary, remain awake through the night; and, even with our “sitting service”, they can remain “on call” while napping. We invite you to phone Kentish Homecare Services on 0208 658 4455 for more details.

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