May 22, 2015 - 10:53 AM
However, there are situations where, unfortunately, live-in caregivers are not an adequate or safe plan of care. Many dementia patients lose orientation to time, and as a result become quite active at night around the house. Even more concerning, they may think it's daytime or morning and wander outside, thus making the need for an "awake" caregiver very important. Keep in mind that many seniors experience a fall during the middle of the night when they wake up and ambulate to the bathroom. This danger is exacerbated if they are taking strong sleep aides and pain medications. With our senior population living longer, the number of dangerous and even fatal falls is on the rise. A fall is the number one sudden life-changer for seniors, and fall avoidance is critical to a proper care plan.
Note that some states have specific legislation regarding live-in caregivers, such as provisions for overtime pay and time off. If you are hiring a live-in caregiver on your own, then you should become familiar with your state's guidelines and follow them. If you are working through a licensed agency, they will ensure compliance and make sure that you have a backup replacement when your regular caregiver is ill or goes on vacation. Regardless, caregiver burnout can happen very quickly with live-in caregivers. Although you may find a live-in caregiver willing to work 7 days per week, it's always best - for both caregiver and patient - for the caregiver to have some rest and respite time. This can be accomplished by having one live-in caregiver during the week, and another for the weekend, or similar arrangement that provides some time off.