Night Care for Elderly Singapore Guide: Providing Peace of Mind

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

Author
Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

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worried senior man thinking something while resting bed night

Night Respite for the Elderly in Singapore

If you’re caring for an elderly person, certain challenges may arise. For example, there are times they would wander at night, have trouble sleeping, or would need intensive care needs that would require constant attention.

What is Night Care or Night Respite?

Overnight care is different from what we know as regular sleep as the elderly may have certain problems that may occur at night, such as broken sleep patterns or their frequent trips wandering at night. As such, night care or night respite is an overnight respite option for caregivers of the elderly requiring mild to moderate assistance for their daily living.

Night activities done by seniors at night which disrupt their sleep can worsen certain illnesses, such as dementia, and may affect the overall health of the elderly. Moreover, it could make your loved one feel confused as it may jeopardize their independence and trust in their ability to live at home.

What is Active Overnight Care?

When an overnight caregiver is awake for active duties all night to assist the elderly and ensure their safety, it’s called active overnight care.

This type of care is best for the elderly who need intensive care due to activities that disrupt their sleep at night.

What is In-Active Overnight Care?

In in-active overnight care, the overnight caregiver doesn’t need to be awake all the time to provide caregiving duties for the senior, but they are instead available in case there is an incident or a need. This option is available for seniors who need little services during the night, such as assistance in going to the toilet.

Due to the deterioration of their physical health, some seniors may struggle to get up from their bed. Meanwhile, some would wake up confused or would get out of their house during the night. Some seniors, especially those with illnesses, would find it hard to go to sleep after waking up to go to the bathroom. This is why there are in-active care services to help them through the night so they can feel well during the day.

How important sleep is for the elderly?

No matter the age, sleep is an essential function that allows our bodies and minds to recharge. We can reap many benefits from sleeping, but as we age, getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult.

For the elderly, sleep can improve both their health and the quality of their life. Here are some of the benefits of sleep:

  • Foundation of a good memory and attention span
  • Reduced usage of medicine
  • Reduced symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Regulated appetite
  • Reduced risk of falling
  • Increased alertness during the day
  • Happier and more engaged lifestyle

How does ageing affect how the elderly sleep?

While all of us age, we age differently. Some seniors will sleep well but some will experience sleepless nights and in turn, have a worse quality of sleep. Here are some of the effects of ageing on the quality of sleep for the elderly:

Changes in the body which cause wakeful nights

The sleep cycle of the elderly changes when they age, making them wake up earlier and thus, making them get tired earlier before bedtime. Moreover, they spend more time in light sleep than in deep sleep, which prevents them from feeling rested.

These changes in their body contribute to them waking in the night frequently, resulting in fragmented sleep. Because of this, they tend to take naps during the day, which further worsens their sleep at night.

Incontinence and insomnia

The frequency of urinating during the night increases with age due to changes in the urinary system, which affects up to 80% of seniors.

Moreover, all these changes in the body and frequent trips to the bathroom contribute to insomnia. Seniors have a hard time falling or staying asleep due to multiple factors but can get treatment for it.

There are also conditions, such as dementia and physical conditions or disabilities, which disrupt sleep.

How do you know if your loved ones need night care?

As we have discussed, disrupted sleep and difficulties sleeping at night are part of ageing, but they can also be a result of health conditions. So you might be thinking, when do you need night respite services for your elderly loved one? There are a lot of things you need to consider when making a decision, so we have listed them down for you:

If they are at a high risk for accidents

Some seniors have a high risk of getting into an accident during the night due to their poor vision, their medicine’s side effects, or those who are not physically active. They might have a high risk of falling or tripping over furniture at night.

While you can take care of them, there are times that you may not be sure how to help them get back up without worsening their current condition. A caregiver providing night care services can help you with this and assist your loved one with their needs in mind.

If they have incontinence issues

Due to their age, seniors may have frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate, or they may have uncontrolled urinary or faecal leakage. Because of this, they may need to get up more often at night or would need to have their clothes changed. If a senior is living alone, this means that they have to get up and get out of their clothes at night multiple times and may rush to do it, which can lead to accidents.

If you’re their caregiver, this task can be taxing especially if you are working during the day on top of doing other household chores as you would need to constantly change the bedsheets, wash the soiled clothes, and be constantly awake at night due to the frequent trips to the bathroom. If so, a family caregiver who can do night shifts can help you take care of your loved one without it being detrimental to your well-being.

If they have dementia or memory deterioration

Some seniors suffer from dementia, a deterioration of memory and function, which makes them experience disorientation, personality, and behaviour changes. During the night, this means that they may have a hard time getting to the bathroom or help finding their things in the house.

If you’re unsure of how to help your loved one or if you need time off from your caregiving duties, you also have the overnight respite option provided by professionals.

If they need palliative care

For seniors who need palliative care, 24/7 care would be beneficial as they may require to have medications administered at night or to be monitored for any changes that may need an immediate medical response. The care of a professional can be beneficial for your loved one to make sure they’re fully taken care of.

What should I do to help my loved one?

There are times when professional help is needed to better care for your elderly loved one. However, if you prefer to help them instead, there are things you can do to make things safer and better for them while staying at home.

Reduce the risk of injury

Poor vision in addition to the darkness of the night contributes greatly to the increase of your loved ones getting injured. You can consider placing motion sensor lights in the bedroom and hallway to help them see while they’re walking to get a glass of water or to the bathroom. Before sleeping, make sure that the pathways to the bathroom or kitchen are clutter-free and free from loose rugs or wires so they won’t accidentally trip over.

If you’re living with an elderly who has dementia or any kind of illness that’s associated with memory loss, make sure that the house is locked with no obvious easily accessed keys to prevent them from wandering outside.

You must know the cause of them walking around at night so you can prevent it from happening.

Managing incontinence

If your elderly loved one has incontinence issues, you can provide them comfort and support by giving them special adult incontinence underwear and a waterproofed mattress. You can also add a pad to their bed, which can lessen sleep disruption and discomfort when you change the bedsheets every night.

How can Retire Genie help your loved ones at night?

You might have heard of a confinement nanny who provides childcare services for mothers post-partum and their newborn babies. Just like these, there are care specialists who can help provide adequate and the best night care for your elderly loved ones.

You have the option to hire live-in caregivers or a part-time caregiver in Singapore, depending on the needs of your family. Retire Genie can provide round-the-clock services for your elderly loved ones if they need constant help throughout the day, or special care during the night if they need special attention during that time.

Our caregivers are capable of bringing the best and adequate care for your loved ones, including medical expertise needed to monitor and help them through the night such as managing their medicine and keeping an eye on their condition.

Alt: How can Red Crows help your loved ones at night?

You might have heard of a confinement nanny who provides childcare services for mothers post-partum and their newborn babies. Just like these, there are care specialists who can help provide adequate and the best night care for your elderly loved ones.

Red Crowns Caregivers has live-in caregivers who can provide adequate 24/7 care for your elderly loved one. We also have the best caregivers if you just need a part-time caregiver in Singapore to help you during the night only, depending on the needs of your family. We can provide constant and best care for your loved ones no matter their needs during the night, from monitoring their condition to managing their medicine.

Alternative night care options for your loved ones

If you take a look at a night respite brochure, you might think that your only option is to hire part-time or full-time help. However, there are alternative options you can avail of to give the best care for your elderly loved ones.

Retire Genie has nursing homes in Singapore available to give your elderly loved ones not only the best care for their current circumstances and conditions but also to give them a comfortable life surrounded by a community. Our professional caregivers will not only give them the medical care they need but also help them socialize with their peers, making sure not only their medical needs are met but also their social and emotional needs.

You also have the option of assisted living, where your elderly loved ones are given the same needs as nursing homes but they’re more assisted. Meaning, that they get to maintain independence in pursuing their interests while still getting the help and care they need.

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