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What is Overnight Care?

Live-in care can come in many forms, and depending on the needs of the individual, a service that may be required is overnight care. Overnight care differs slightly from other kinds of care available, so The Live in Care Company have created this guide to assist those who may be considering overnight care.

This guide to overnight care should answer any questions you have, so you can make an informed decision based on what’s right for you or your loved one. This guide will cover: What is overnight care? What does overnight care offer? Sleeping vs Waking overnight care How is overnight care differ from live-in care Is overnight care for me Why would I need overnight care? How much is overnight care

What is overnight care?

Overnight care is when a carer provides support to an individual during the night-time hours, usually between around 9pm and 9am. Care requirements do not stop during the night. Since getting a good night’s sleep is a fundamental requirement for all, knowing that there is a trusted and supportive carer on hand can be especially reassuring and beneficial for the individual being cared for.

What does overnight care offer?

2 Overnight carers can offer support with any care duties that are required during the night.

This may typically involve:

  • Helping individuals take medication on time
  • Creating a comfortable environment for a person to sleep in
  • Helping individuals to the toilet, which can sometimes be disorientating in the middle of the night

For those individuals living with dementia, it can be a particularly confusing time. Having an overnight carer on hand to provide support can be reassuring for loved ones.

Sleeping vs Waking Overnight Care

There are typically two different types of overnight care that can be provided. Sleeping overnight care

Sleeping overnight care is when the carer sleeps at the property for a minimum of eight hours, but is on hand to provide any care, companionship, or other support if necessary.

This can be a particularly helpful option if the individual being cared for tends to not have regular care needs, but finds themselves feeling more settled and comfortable knowing that there is someone there to provide input, should they need.

Benefits of a comfortable night’s sleep are plentiful, including generally feeling more rested, which can help with general health and anxiety. If an individual needs assistance twice or more throughout the night, then a waking overnight carer is usually considered.

Waking overnight care

A waking carer will be on duty for a minimum of eight hours throughout the night and will be able support individuals with various aspects of care needs. For instance, an individual may need to get up to use the bathroom on multiple times during the night or they may require frequent medication administration, but they may struggle to do these tasks by themselves. A waking carer would be by the individual’s side for the duration of the night so that they are able to assist with these tasks.

How is overnight care different from live-in care?

Overnight care differs from live-in care (or 24- hour home care as it is sometimes known) in that a live-in carer will be supporting the individual throughout the daytime and be on hand during night-time hours just in case.

A live-in carer will tend to work for months at a time and will be able to get to know the client’s needs and personality quite well.

However, an overnight carer is on hand during the night-time hours only and is unlikely to live in with the client – instead, they will likely commute to work from their own home. This arrangement allows for the same overnight carer to be on duty for more than about a week at a time. Is overnight care for me?

There may be various reasons as to why overnight care is considered suitable.

Sometimes, overnight care evolves from an individual becoming more reliant on having a care professional’s help during the daytime which naturally progresses to a need for support during the night-time. At other times, night-time support is identified as an important part of the individual’s care needs early on since an individual may need more assistance during these hours.

Why would I need overnight care?

Some of the most common reasons why individuals might need overnight care are as follows: Dementia

Dementia is a progressive illness that affects a person’s brain functioning. There are many different types of dementia, but typical symptoms can include memory and communication difficulties. For this reason, waking in the middle of the night can be very disorienting, which may lead to tripping and falling.

Additionally, if these individuals live by themselves, waking up alone can be distressing for some people.  At times, people with dementia may also experience broken sleep patterns and problems with sleep-wake cycle. This means that they may be sleeping in the day and being awake throughout the night so a night carer may be needed to help the person to be safe cared-for.

Having a carer stay overnight can be a great way to support individuals with dementia but it can also be beneficial for family members by providing them with peace of mind that their loved ones are in safe hands.

Bladder issues

As we age it can be common to have urinary incontinence and overactive bladder function. This often means frequent trips to the toilet which can cause disrupted sleep at night. A night-time carer can support these bathroom trips and help to reduce the likelihood of falls


Taking medication on time is an essential part of a healthcare routine and can sometimes be forgotten if medication type and/or dosage have recently changed. A night-time carer can support and remind individuals to take their medication before bed and upon waking-up and take away the anxieties and responsibility that may be experienced.

Mobility issues

It can be difficult to get into and out of bed if mobility is limited and therefore overnight carers can be essential to be on hand to help get in and out of bed during the evening, night and morning hours.

Lowering the risks and falls of accidents

Many of us can lose our balance when we first wake at night. In particular, older people and those with dementia may be especially vulnerable to this, which means live-in overnight care can reduce the risk of injury.

How much is overnight care?

Depending on where you are in the country, the price of overnight care will range from around £144  to £160 for 9 hours. Waking night care is between £180 and £200 per 9-hour stint. 

How we can help

At The Live in Care Company, we can provide experienced and skilled live-in night carers for you or a loved one. To start a conversation with one of our friendly team, or to find out more about the types of care we can offer, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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