You decided that it was best for your aging loved one to continue living in their own home, but with the assistance of an in-home caregiver. This works wonders for the aging population because it allows them more freedom, privacy and comfort compared to moving into an assisted living facility. They get to stay in a place they are comfortable in and stay relatively close to other family members. Independence is a natural desire to have, and this allows them to have just that.
While you want your loved one to have the independence and comfort they desire by living at home, you also want to ensure their safety. There are various types of in-home care that senior citizens can obtain, such as companion care and overnight care.
What is Companion Care?
Some seniors have more mobility than others and don’t need as much attention throughout the day, but they do need some companionship. Companion care is oftentimes used to ensure an aging loved one remains social and active. The caregiver in these scenarios help senior citizens with projects around the home or partaking in activities, like scrapbooking and artwork. It’s best to hire a caregiver that can perform the activities that your loved one is interested in.
Companion services can also be used for assisting your loved one with shopping, attending social events or visiting a spa or salon. In a sense, this isn’t actual in-home care, but assistance with maintaining a vibrant and active social life.
What is Overnight Care?
Overnight care is when a caregiver stays the night in the home of an elderly or sick individual to ensure their safety. Those who need additional help around the home may need to have someone there at night for help, such as preparing and cooking dinner, taking a shower and taking the proper medications.
The caregiver stays the night in the home in case of a late night emergency. Some will stay awake, however most will go to sleep and are available in the middle of the night. This arrangement can make your loved one feel more secure while living alone.
Making the Switch from Companion to Overnight Care
There may come a time when you notice that your loved one needs more care than normal. You’ll see different warning signs if this is the case. Make sure to pay close attention because some senior citizens are reluctant to ask for help.
Some of the warning signs may include forgetting to pay utility bills or not taking their medications on time. Maybe you see them becoming more confused about things. All of these are signs that it’s time to hire overnight help.
Another reason to hire a nighttime aid is if your loved one is losing or has lost mobility. Perhaps they are falling more often or unable to get around like they once could. If you are worried about them navigating the restroom or kitchen, then overnight caregiving services can be beneficial.
One way to look at it is that overnight caregivers also act as companions as well. It’s a good idea to talk to your loved one to see what they would prefer. Making the switch to an overnight caregiver is much easier when you are working with an agency since they have different types of care providers on staff.
Questions to Ask the Agency
If you do decide to work with an agency, make sure the services you obtain are top-quality. One way to ensure this is to ask certain questions. This should help you decide which agency to partner with when it comes to providing trusted and reliable assistance for a loved one. Here is a list of questions you can use to ask about the overnight care you will receive:
- Is the caregiver trained to perform the necessary duties your loved one needs?
- Will the caregiver be employed by and supervised by the agency?
- If the caregiver is injured on the job, will they be covered by Workers’ Compensation?
- Are complete background checks run on all of the caregivers employed by the agency?
- Will you be able to meet the caregiver beforehand to discuss a care plan?
- Are caregivers regularly evaluated by a Registered Nurse once assigned?
- Is photo identification required for caregivers to carry at all times?
- Can you request a replacement if you’re dissatisfied with the caregiver?
These are all very important questions to ask, so make sure that you get the answers you’re looking for before hiring an agency.