175 George St N Unit #10 Peterborough, ON K9J 3G6, Canada

About Comfort Keepers

Comfort Keepers provides award-winning in-home care for seniors and other adults in need of assistance with daily activities. Our highly trained and dedicated caregivers can help your loved one stay in their home for as long as safely possible—a dream come true for many elders.

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Uplifting In-Home Care Services for Seniors & Other Adults Right Where You Need It. Comfort Keepers Peterborough, ON provides in home care services and senior care in the following cities in Ontario: Peterborough

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Part of the work Comfort Keepers Peterborough does in this community is to connect seniors and their families with the resources they need to live happy, healthy and well-supported lives.

The Importance Of Overnight Care for Seniors: Having Overnight In-Home Care For An Elderly Loved One Means More Sleep, Less Stress And Fewer Injuries

Blog  |  August 26, 2021

Most Seniors Want To Age At Home But Feel Anxious About Nights Alone.

Research shows that as many as 91% of all seniors here in Ontario want to stay in their home or apartment for as long as possible. Making that happen are people like you — family caregivers who devote time and energy to making sure their senior parent or loved one has what they need to age comfortably and in good health. While taking on the role of caregiver for an elderly person is a rewarding experience, it is not without challenges. This is especially true when the senior in question cannot or will not be left alone at night.  

The Connection Between Overnight Care And Caregiver Fatigue

Being a caregiver to a senior loved one can place a huge amount of physical and emotional stress on you. While providing care during the day seems can be managed, many seniors worry about being alone at night. For some, especially those seniors living with psychological or cognitive issues like dementia or Alzheimer’s, being alone at night is simply not safe. If this is the care, this means that you and other family members may end up providing round-the-clock care. 

The reality is that extending the care you provide to include nights can take a serious toll on you as a caregiver. The biggest risk of burning out (sometimes called caregiver fatigue) in this scenario comes from not getting enough sleep. A lack of sleep can affect other aspects of your life, your work and your health as well as compromise your relationship with your elderly parent or loved one. Finding overnight support and respite is necessary and yet many family caregivers hesitate citing financial reasons, guilt and lack of trust as reasons for muddling through on their own. 

Bed with pillows tossed on top in a dimly lit room at night

You Are Not Imagining Things. The Challenges Seniors Face At Night Are Real. 

If you have ever questioned the need for seeking out overnight care for your senior loved one, you are not alone. Many family caregivers feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of providing care day and night but convince themselves that they should be able to make it work. Even when exhaustion and stress start to take their toll, asking for help with something as intimate as overnight care may not feel like it is an option. 

However, the challenges seniors face at night are very real — just as real as the inevitable effects you will feel from inconsistent and interrupted sleep. 

Seniors Who Worry About Being Alone At Night May Have Good Cause.

Being alone during the day is one thing but for many seniors, being alone at night is a real source of anxiety and stress. This happens for different reasons. For some seniors, anxiety creeps in simply because they know help is harder to reach at night or they feel they would be inconveniencing a loved one if they call after bedtime. For others, nighttime anxiety could be a symptom of other cognitive issues like dementia. 

Seniors who are living with chronic illness or pain may worry about managing on their own during the night. Certain medications can make falling asleep difficult and your senior loved one may come to dread the nightly battle with insomnia — being left alone with your thoughts isn’t always a welcome thing. Another common source of nighttime stress for seniors is incontinence. Having to get up to make trips to the washroom in the dark can be distressing and, for seniors with limited mobility or who are recovering from surgery, can even put an older adult at risk of falling and injuring themselves. 

As you can see, the unfortunate reality is that not all seniors are safe alone at night. They need the presence of a caregiver in their home but that person doesn’t always have to be you. In fact, for your own health and wellbeing, it probably shouldn’t be. 

elderly woman's hands resting on top of a bedsheet

Ask For Help. Hire An Overnight Caregiver. 

If you didn’t know that hiring a caregiver to provide professional and compassionate overnight care to your senior parent or loved one, now you do. Aside from the decreased risk of injury or distress that comes with having a caregiver in the home overnight, both seniors and family caregivers like you stand to benefit in countless other ways from this support. Three of the most notable and long-lasting benefits of overnight care include: 

  • Reduced stress for both you as the caregiver and for your senior loved one. Having a trusted in-home caregiver means you can both rest easier (literally) knowing someone is there if and when they are needed in the night. 
  • A better quality of life. Sleep is such an important part of your health and wellness. It has even been argued that caregivers require more sleep to nourish themselves physically and emotionally. A lack of sleep directly contributes to depression, cause memory troubles, can make you more accident-prone and can generally cause you to struggle with day-to-day tasks. This can cause real problems for you at work and at home with your own family. Getting some respite by having overnight care means you can show up as your best self during the day for yourself and your senior loved one. 
  • A healthier relationship with your loved one. When your own health begins to falter and work, family and other relationships feel the effects of lack of sleep and of too much stress, it is not uncommon for a caregiver to feel resentful towards their senior parent or loved one. That is the last thing you want. Having regular support to enable you and your senior loved one to sleep well will help you manage all other aspects of your life and will make the time you spend together less stressful and free from resentment. 

Prioritize The Health And Wellness Of Both You And Your Senior Loved One By Investing In Overnight Care. 

If your senior loved one is anxious about spending the night alone, it doesn’t matter if the reason is physical or psychological. Both and valid and both lead to the need for overnight care and companionship for your senior loved one. As a family caregiver, that responsibility may naturally fall to you but you don’t have to should the weight on it on your own. Reaching out to an organization of professional caregivers like Comfort Keepers Peterborough is not a failure on your part — it is a great show of love for yourself and the elder adult in your life. 

Overnight caregivers could be the solution you are looking for. If you have questions about how a Comfort Keeper caregiver can help offer you respite while also ensuring the safety and comfort of your senior parent or loved one, contact us today. We are always happy to help.

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