What the Healthiest Senior's Caregivers are Doing for Them at Night

5 things caregivers can do to increase nighttime safety. 
Caregivers know that senior safety is important, and one of the biggest problems for seniors is safety at night. Low lights impact depth perception, so seniors are far more likely to experience falls. And because it is often several hours before someone else will be there to help, these falls can have dire consequences, from dehydration to much worse. 

What are caregivers doing right?

1. Keeping seniors in bed.

A senior is far more likely to stay healthy and avoid slips and falls if they stay in their bed at night. One thing caregivers are doing right is finding ways to keep seniors in bed. The number one reason seniors get out of bed at night is to use the bathroom.

How can this be avoided?

Using the bathroom before bed and limiting nighttime fluids is a start, but it may not be enough. Absorbent products can be very helpful for catching nighttime leaks. Mattress protection, bed pads, and incontinence underwear can be helpful and increase night safety.

When choosing nighttime incontinence products, look for options with rapid absorption to draw urine away from the skin so there is no uncomfortable dampness or seep-back, which can irritate the skin and disturb sleep.

Look for a good fit, as this will reduce leaks, and fewer leaks mean less risk of damp mattress, fewer nighttime disturbances, and less laundry, as well as less skin irritation and the need for other medical attention.

2. Install motion sensor lights.

When a senior does need to get around at night, it is important that they can do so safely. Because diminished light is a big problem, caregivers can increase safety by installing motion sensor lights to illuminate the most commonly used pathways in the house.

3. Help seniors have what they need on hand.

Many seniors find themselves waking up at night and unable to go back to sleep. They get bored, hungry, thirsty, or restless. Making sure seniors have the things they may need close at hand will keep them in bed, and safe. A bed caddy that can hold things like a television remote, a book, a bottle of water, a granola bar or other snack, and keep them close at hand, is a great tool for Caregivers, and can help keep seniors safe.

4. Keep floors clear of tripping hazards.

Even with illumination, a thick rug, a low end table, or clutter can lead to trips and falls, especially if the senior is at all disoriented from waking. Keeping clutter to a minimum, clearing walk ways, and avoiding tripping hazards can increase night safety.

5. Providing emergency help.

Even with every precaution, nights can still be hazardous, and falls risky. Providing the senior with a way to call for emergency help at night is important for increased safety. An emergency alert system can mean the difference between a fall resulting in a few bumps and bruises, and a fall resulting in a long hospital recovery. The faster help arrives, the less damage in most cases. Consider a monitoring or emergency alert system for the safety of the senior in your life.

Further Reading: 

Elderly Care at Night

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visithttp://www.caregiverpartnership.com to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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