Employing carers, poor sleep patterns and on/off periods

Hi all,

I have recently arranged for a care agency to assist my father in his own home. Although I'm his carer, I'm also working and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to juggle the two.

Like most people with Parkinson's, my father's on/off periods fluctuate a lot. He has periods of being highly active and elated but then he has lows where he becomes emotional and has to crawl in order to move.

He also has awful sleep patterns. By the time his last tablet has kicked in, it's around 11pm and he eventually gets to bed by midnight. He then gets up at around 3 or 4am to start his day, calling me for assistance because he can't move and starts taking his tablets again. Is this normal to anyone else here?

How do other people with Parkinson's and their carers arrange the correct times for carers to come in, when the condition can fluctuate so much? Also, does anybody here have any experience of employing night sitters?

Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Blackcat

My dad has Parkinson's and he has a very irregular sleep pattern. He often isn't asleep until gone midnight and then requires my mum's help at numerous intervals through the night to take pills, use the toilet, get comfortable in bed, etc.

They use night sitters from Crossroads once a week to give my mum a break. The carer usually does a 12 hr sit from 9pm until 9am. It's usually £100 a night.

We have found that if the night sitter also has a day job then they are sometimes not as effective as they could be (in the middle of the night) - my dad has found that he struggles to alert the sitter to help him as they are too deeply asleep. Something to bear in mind.

They also use a local care agency one afternoon a week (£17 per hr). It's impossible to exactly predict high & low periods to plan for carers to come in. My mum just appreciates that she doesn't have to worry about dad for 4 hrs!

I hope this helps. We'd also be interested to hear of other people's experiences

Hi pickalily a carer on nights asleep and getting £100 for it it sounds like you should be charging them bed and breakfast..all the best John.