November 1, 2018
You’ve probably told your elderly family member that it’s okay to call you at any time, day or night. That’s certainly something that you mean when you say it, but if those phone calls in the middle of the night are adding up, you need to do a little more investigating.
Your Senior Could Be Lonely
Loneliness is a huge problem for aging adults, but it can feel more manageable during the day. At night, loneliness can feel even more oppressive. As your senior’s caregiver, she may feel comfortable reaching out to you for reassurance even if she isn’t ready to change her living situation. Finding ways to help her to have companionship during the day can help.
She Could Also Be Confused
As your elderly family member’s cognition changes, she may find that time is confusing for her. On one level, she may realize that it’s dark outside, but she may not realize that means that you’re trying to sleep. For some aging adults, this type of confusion may only show itself at night at first. Medication could be to blame, but it’s a good idea to talk to her doctor to determine if there might be underlying causes.
Sleep Is Sometimes an Issue
If her sleep schedule is off, your elderly family member may be sleeping more during the day and find it difficult to sleep at night. Sleep hygiene can be difficult to correct if it’s way out of step with the rest of the world. Setting a schedule helps, as does making smaller changes where your senior tries going to bed a little closer each day to a “normal” bedtime.
It’s Worth Investigating Further
The bottom line is that these phone calls definitely mean something, even when they seem to be random calls in the middle of the night. Try talking to your elderly family member when you’re both calm and open to a conversation to see what she says. You don’t want to make her feel as if her calls are unwelcome, but you need to know what’s really happening.
While you could try to just go without sleep, that’s not practical at all. You need sleep and your senior has some needs, too. Hiring senior care providers is an easy way to make sure that someone with experience is there to help her and that you can be rested and refreshed to tackle everything the next morning.