As a family caregiver, sometimes recognizing the needs of your aging loved one is easy–like needing help to recover after a surgery–but other times, anticipating their care needs can be a challenge. The good news is that there are people like Brittany Taralson, the leading Senior Care Specialist for Tandem, who can help guide you through tough times with your aging loved one.
“A big part of my job is handling crisis management and troubleshooting issues for clients,” says Brittany. “I’ve found that so many people really don’t know what their options are when it comes to aging care, and I’m so glad that I can be here to help them through these experiences with loved ones.”
One of the harder experiences to navigate is figuring out when to invest in an overnight caregiver. It can be difficult to wrap your head around making the leap from companion care to overnight in home care, but there are certain situations in which an overnight caregiver can be necessary to maintaining your loved one’s health and well-being.
What To Consider When It’s Time For An Overnight Caregiver
As someone who spends all day talking to people about their health needs, Brittany is in the unique position of being able to identify areas in which hiring in home care overnight is necessary. Here’s what you should consider when deciding whether or not your loved one needs an overnight caregiver:
- Have they been experiencing falls? Although falls are common with age, they are not a normal part of aging. Often, they can be signs that something deeper is going on with your health and can lead to more severe health consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for those over the age of 65, one in five falls results in a serious injury, such as broken bones or a trauma to the head. In fact, more than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by experiencing a fall, and at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized each year for hip fractures. A private caregiver that stays with your loved one overnight can help prevent falls by making sure that they are safely getting in and out of bed and are able to navigate typically dark hallways to go to the bathroom.
- Did your loved one recently get released from the hospital? Research has shown that having help at home after a hospital stay reduced the rate of readmission in older adults. A 2018 article published in the American Journal of Nursing found that having quality in home care after being discharged from the hospital can decrease risks of hospitalization for older patients, including “delirium, falls, functional decline, and hospital-acquired infection.” Simply put – having a professional caregiver in the home to help with recovery will not only improve your loved one’s chances of making a full recovery, but will also greatly reduce the risk of worsening their symptoms.
- Have they been neglecting or mismanaging their medications? It’s estimated that 87 percent of seniors take at least one prescription drug, and 36 percent take 5 or more, making medication management an important aspect of aging well. When medication is forgotten or mismanaged, it can have some dangerous side effects. If your loved one has been neglecting or mismanaging their prescription medications, hiring a private caregiver to help them get back on track can be a great help.
- Do they suffer from depression? Depression, anxiety, and isolation are unfortunately common struggles for older adults, especially those who are living with chronic health conditions. Since depression tends to worsen at night, having an overnight caregiver to help provide emotional support, companionship, and care can make a big impact on your loved one’s psyche.
- Is their mobility getting increasingly limited? Limited mobility can lead to falls, especially at night. It is not uncommon for older adults to use the bathroom during the night, and limited mobility makes the experience of having to navigate dark hallways that much more challenging. By proactively having a caregiver come in to stay with your loved one overnight, you will reduce their risk of falls, or be able to get them immediate medical attention should they fall.
- Are dementia symptoms increasing? Evening and nighttime can be the most difficult for seniors living with dementia, commonly referred to as sundowning. Having an experienced dementia carer stay with you or your loved one overnight can bring peace of mind while keeping you safe.
This is not a complete list of reasons why you should consider investing in an overnight caregiver for your loved one, but it’s a great place to start. Although it can seem invasive at first, having a caregiver in the home with your loved one during the most vulnerable time of day can actually be a gift; one that will keep them healthier, longer.
Being Proactive About In-Home Care Needs
Brittany’s goal is to give family caregivers a greater sense of clarity surrounding their care needs, which requires a bit of education and a bit of support.
“Start planning now–be proactive about your loved one’s care and put a plan in place before a crisis happens,” Brittany recommends. “It’s hard to think about what you or your loved one will need for support during an emergency. Taking the time to plan ahead when it comes to your loved one’s care will allow you to make more informed decisions down the road.”
If you’re wondering whether or not it’s time to increase your loved one’s in-home care needs, Brittany and her team of Senior Care Specialists will work with you to figure out a plan that is best for you and your family. Be proactive and call today.