There is no denying the job of caregivers for an elderly loved one can be taxing and at times overwhelming. Unfortunately, many times the challenges that are a part of taking care of a senior are magnified at night. Many caregivers make the mistake of thinking once the senior in their care is in bed they can let down their guard. The reality is many problems that occur with seniors happen at night. The best strategy for any caregiver is to be aware of what the problems and hazards are at night and prepare to deal with them. When caregivers become familiar with the problems that can happen at nighttime when a senior is in their care, they can then take proactive steps in order to minimize or even in some cases reduce the risk. Some of these obstacles include but are not limited to: Night awakening-Many seniors have trouble sleeping or have to make frequent trips to the bathroom during the night. This poses a risk in several different ways. Seniors can end up falling, becoming disoriented or reacting emotionally when they get up at night. If the senior is able to get out of bed by themselves it is crucial to have the right type of lighting available so that they can quickly see where they are and how they want to move through the home. Today, there are number of different lighting systems that are motion activated. This gives peace of mind to both the caregiver and the senior as they know that they can get up and immediately have a lighted path. Incontinence-While incontinence is not directly related to age many seniors have this problem. The reality is that many seniors simply do not have the needed mobility to get out of bed quickly enough to reach the bathroom. This makes it crucial that you have the right incontinence supplies to meet their needs. Do not assume that a particular adult diaper will work for your senior. Many times it takes trial and error before the right incontinence product is found. Once the senior is able to use this product then it is less likely that leakage and accidents will occur. In addition, there are incontinence supplies that will protect the mattress and bedding should an accident occur. This reduces the chance that a complete change of bedding and clothing will have to happen in the middle of the night. •Falling-The number one type of accident for seniors is falling. In order to prevent this from happening caregivers should carefully review the mobility of the senior in their care. The good news is that with some simple changes caregivers can make nighttime just as safe for their loved one as the daytime hours. From bedrails to mobility aids there are items to assist your senior and help to keep them from falling. In addition, make sure that there is a clear path at night free from obstacles or items that might slip from under the senior’s feet.
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March 4, 2018