How To Know When It's The Right Time For 24-Hour Senior Care

In-home senior care is one of the best options for taking care of a loved one because it allows that person some sense of autonomy and comfort in their own space. Most people start with live-in senior care, which typically consists of one caregiver living in the home 24 hours a day with an 8-hour sleeping break, a break often taken in the home of the client. On the other hand, 24-hour home care is typically provided by two caregivers rotating 12-hour shifts so that there is always a caregiver awake and alert to provide service. There comes a point when someone who has live-in care needs to switch to 24-hour care. Here are a few instances when that might be necessary.

After a Major Surgery

The period after a major surgery is a delicate time for the elderly. Sometimes a surgery seems to go well and complications don't arise until afterwards, especially if the person is in fragile health. Recuperation after a heart attack or stroke is especially delicate, and your loved one should have someone constantly on alert providing care, the kind of care that family members often can't provide due to life, financial, or family obligations or because they don't have the knowledge and skill to provide it.

After Consistent Slips and Falls

As we age our bones and musculature become more frail. Taking a fall that you might have easily bounced back from as a child or middle-aged adult can have serious consequences as a senior. According to one scientific study, even ground-level falls in the elderly over the age of 70 are much more likely to result in life-threatening injuries or even death compared to those under the age of 70. Additionally, sometimes balance becomes impaired, particularly for those suffering from dementia. Because a live-in caregiver isn't awake around the clock, there are times when slips and falls might happen that the caregiver can't catch. If falls are happening more frequently, it's probably time to switch to a rotating schedule of caregivers so that someone is always awake and alert to prevent falls.

With Increased Confusion

Another reason to switch to 24-hour care is in cases of increased confusion due to dementia. One symptom of dementia is called sundowning. It's when a person confuses the day and night. It can lead to pacing and wandering around in the dark, which in turn can lead to more slips and falls. If your loved one is experiencing the confusion of sundowning, it might be time to switch to 24-hour care.