It’s not uncommon for people to wake up more often during the night as we age, this can be due to a number of factors and is sometimes related to conditions such as dementia. However, often it’s just down to a change in their circadian rhythm or ‘body clock’. As people age the part of the brain that controls the body’s daily cycles, including the sleep cycle, can deteriorate. This can then directly disrupt the circadian rhythm causing sleeping problems.
Lying awake at night can lead to other concerns in the elderly if they’re living with a condition such as dementia where waking in the night can cause confusion, leading to wandering and further sleep disruption in the following days and nights.
Overnight care ensures your loved one is cared for through the night, keeping them safe and secure whilst encouraging healthy sleeping patterns.
Overnight care is a very specific form of care is not to be confused with what we generally consider to be a ‘normal’ night’s rest. During the night, older people can often experience difficulty in resting, broken sleep patterns aggravate degenerative conditions such as dementia and have a detrimental impact on the general well-being of those living with them. Overnight disruptions can undermine a loved one’s confidence and sense of independence in living at home, so they may feel anxious and disoriented as a result.
For people living with conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, these concerns are quite common and should be taken seriously. Sundowning is a widely used term that refers to how those living with these conditions, mostly elderly in age, can end up disoriented and confused from around late afternoon through the evening and night. It’s sometimes worsened by the change of clocks in the spring and autumn. Overnight home care provides solid support throughout the night hours, helping your loved one to feel reassured and secure.
Waking night care
Waking night care, the carer is actually on duty in your loved one’s home for a shift of around 10 hours, although different shift lengths may be arranged. They will not need a room or a bed, as they’ll not be sleeping. If your loved one needs help several times during the night, this could be the best option for them. They may require assistance in changing their position at regular intervals to prevent the development of pressure sores, or they might need medication at set times. People needing dementia care, waking care may be necessary to ensure that they do not come to any harm during the night. People living with dementia are often unable to interpret the signs that it’s night time and may get up and try to leave the house. An elderly person who is very anxious and needs reassurance from a carer may also need waking night care.
Sleeping night care
In this arrangement, a caregiver will sleep in your loved one’s home, helpful for people who are anxious if they’re left alone during the night, but don’t need a great deal of physical support. The carer will be there for at least eight hours and will sleep in their own room but will be available to help your loved one if they need assistance during the night. Normally, a carer working a “sleeping night” would not expect to have to get up any more than twice. If your loved one needs more frequent attention than this, the shift would be classed as a “waking night”.
A sitting service
This might be needed if you or another family member provides elderly care for your loved one but need a break during the night. A carer would stay with the older person for a fixed length of time, perhaps four to six hours, while the primary carer has a break.
Overnight Care Tips
Sleeping apps – There are different sleep monitoring apps that can be used to track sleep cycles. If your loved one is happy to use one, they can be a good way to track their sleep cycle.
Talking – It’s important to talk to your loved one about sleep and their sleeping patterns. Even those living with dementia may be able to communicate that they’re having sleeping troubles.
Home cameras – One of the suggestions for monitoring a loved one’s sleep is to install a home camera, with their permission of course.
Smart-watch or fitness trackers – If your loved one is happy to wear a fitness or smart-watch, these can be ideal for monitoring sleeping patterns, also good for tracking things such as heart rate.
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Darkness is an obvious hazard overnight, and this increases the risk of loved ones falling and injuring themselves. You should consider placing motion sensor lights in the bedroom and passageway, make sure their path from their bed to the bathroom and kitchen is clutter-free, and there are no loose rugs that they could trip over. Loved ones with conditions such as Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia may wake feeling confused and they may feel the urge to go outside. Make sure the house is securely locked, with no easy, obvious, access to keys, as a nighttime deterrent to possible wandering.
Try to establish the root cause of their overnight wandering, see if there’s a simple way to mitigate the risk of it happening.
When looking at overnight home care options, it’s important to note that the precise rates of care vary significantly according to the needs of your loved one and exactly when they’ll need care. Paying for a carer overnight can cost around £15-30 per hour, depending on the needs of the care recipient. Be sure to factor in exactly how much care your loved one will need and when. If your loved one requires help with their bedtime routine or their morning routine, dressing and undressing, washing brushing teeth, then they may need assistance 10-12 hours a night.
Paying for a home carer on an overnight basis could cost over £1000 per week, in addition to any day time visits that may be required. For this type of domiciliary overnight care, weekends and Bank Holidays are usually charged at a premium.
You're often going to be paying a lot more by directly employing carers, but it’s not just about ensuring you’re paying the right salary to your home carer. By taking on the role of direct employment, you’re also liable to cover sick pay, holiday pay and parental cover.
Introduction agencies do exist within the home care sector, these agencies have become more popular over the past five years. Introduction agencies match you with professional carers and are generaly more affordable. Leading home care introduction agencies can offer 24-hour care at home for up to 30% less than a care home.
When funding care you should consider applying for relevant benefits, checking your eligibility for NHS funding, accessing local authority funding, and considering funding care with savings or other assets.
Your loved one may be eligible for funding from their local authority. Their financial situation will be discussed alongside care needs during their care assessment.
When it comes to funding the cost of home care, just like any other industry, there are unscrupulous companies out there looking to take advantage.
Always seek professional, regulated finacial advice when looking to self fund home care.
Do you need overnight care in Bristol?
What's the price of overnight care in Bristol?
In Bristol, overnight care can range from £15 to £30 per hour, depending on the type of home care that's required. Just like all other forms of home care, the cost of overnight care will vary depending on the length of care required, location and availability. If your loved one requires help with their bedtime routine or their morning routine, dressing and undressing, washing and brushing teeth, taking medication etc. then they may need 10-12 hours a night.
Cheap home care companies in Bristol?
Unfortunately all forms of home care are fairly expensive when looking at the weekly, monthly total cost. If you can't afford the cost of home care in Bristol - don't panic. There's loads of government funding options and benefits available, including overnight care costs. Local authority funding is funded by Bristol local council and funding depends on the needs of the recipient, your loved one will need a care assessment to determine eligibility and the amount.
How else can I keep my dad safe at night in Bristol?
If your elderly relative is living in Bristol and you're worried about their wellbeing overnight, there are several things you can try independent or alongside an overnight carer. With your loved ones permission, you could install wireless monitoring cameras or sensors in their home. You could download a sleep App onto their phone or tablet, or buy them a smart watch to monitor their sleep patterns.
I need to find overnight care in Bristol, where do I search?
To find amazing overnight home care companies in Bristol, why not try our free, unbiased, transparent care search. Click one of the 'Compare Care' buttons spread around this website.