overnight careOften illness and disability can cause additional care needs.

Much of the time, day care is sufficient to keep an individual independent.

For others, overnight care is just as important.

There are many benefits to this extra care, and in this article, we'll take a look at when it's appropriate.

What Is Overnight Care?

Overnight care is when a carer stays in your home overnight to attend to your normal activities of daily living.

Care needs don't stop at the end of the working day and fortunately for many who need help, neither does caregiving.

Having access to trained staff through the night is essential for many complex medical conditions or when an individual is recuperating from an illness.

What Are the Benefits?

For families, knowing that a loved one has to spend the night alone can be a concern.

If a situation occurs during in the small hours, and no-one is present to act quickly, it could easily lead to an emergency situation.

Loved ones may not always have a personal care alarm to send an alert for assistance, but with professional support present, such fears are put to bed.

The primary benefit of overnight care is that individuals who may be anxious or lonely are able to rest well and get a good night's sleep.

Sleep deprivation can result in a deterioration in daytime functioning, including difficulty participating in routine activities. Mobility may suffer, and an individual might be more prone to disorientation and falling.

In order to catch up on lost sleep, a loved one may have to nap during the day and skip their social activities, reducing engagement in daily life.

Good sleep is vital to our overall health and wellbeing, a time when mind and body can heal and recharge. Overnight care facilitates this process, providing a huge mental and physical boost.

Overnight care can also be the difference between an individual staying in their own home versus entering a residential facility.

For families who are unable to provide round the clock care themselves, this service can be the preferable option.

Who Is Overnight Care For?

For older adults, the night time can be especially risky if they need to get up to go to the toilet.

Waking in the night with confusion, especially if an individual suffers from mobility issues, can lead to a trip or fall.

Other medical conditions such as dementia, in which the early hours can be a time for 'wandering', may necessitate round the clock supervision.

Complex conditions may also require night time intervention, covering needs like medication management or nursing-led ventilator care.

If you or a loved one are recuperating from an illness or surgery, you might require help with regular repositioning from a care worker.

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Types of Care

Overnight care is very flexible and your exact needs can be discussed with a care agency to decide on the best option:

Sleeping Night Care

This is a good option if you'd like to have someone present through the night, but don't require regular assistance. A sleeping night care worker is usually permitted to help twice during the night before the service becomes waking night care. A sleep in care worker can provide the peace of mind you need to get a good night's rest. 

Waking Night Care

A waking night care worker is for those who have greater needs and require frequent help through the night. These professionals can be on hand at a moment's notice to cover any care need, such as medication administration, repositioning or toileting. While they aren't helping with such activities, they can attend to other domestic duties.

Visiting Night Care

For those that don't require someone to be present throughout the night, visiting care may be a perfect choice. Overnight care teams can pop in for 30 mins to cover any agreed needs. If you know what time you'll need assistance, this can be arranged one or more times during the night.

Overnight Respite Care

If you have a regular carer who's on-hand to cover your night time needs, overnight respite can give them a break to recharge. This arrangement can be set up as a sitting service to provide short-term cover and might be a good way to see if overnight care is your preferable longer-term option.

What Do the Care Workers Require?

That depends on the type of care you need. For sleeping night care, a care worker will require a private room.

The room should be clean and tidy and ideally close to the person receiving care, so they can be on hand quickly should the need arise.

The care worker will also require access to private or shared bathroom facilities.

How Much Does It Cost?

For private home care arrangements, agency fees can vary. As a rough guide, some self-employed carers may charge in the region of £10 per hour (£80/night) for sleeping care or around £15 per hour (£120/night) for waking care.
It's advisable to do you your research, from both a care and cost perspective.

How Can I Arrange Overnight Care? 

If your care needs have recently changed, the most sensible step is to speak to your GP, who can refer you for a care assessment through the NHS or local authority if appropriate.

Families may also choose to contact private home care providers, who can administer their own needs assessment and decide on your best option.