I'm pretty much with Lyssa. I think old dogs, like very young puppies, can't handle the amount of freedom that adult dogs can. I also think they need, and understand, routines that don't vary.
My three seniors are gated into the dog room at about 9 p.m., while I'm still up and watching TV, and at 10 p.m. it's lights out and they get their cookies and the radio in there is turned on to the classical music station, and I tell them good night. They're there until about 6 a.m., when I come and open the gate in the doorway. It works (knock wood) really well. At first I had just the Merle Girls in there, but Charlie will wander around the house at night and get the Boyz annoyed, so I popped him in with the M/Girls and after an initial kerfuffle in which Posey told him to stop being a Pomeranian dick-head, all was well. The dog room is full of cozy beds, the shades are drawn, and the radio is on very low. No water bowl, they had a last go at water after their 9 p.m. potty. And it's away from my room -- my room is off the dining room, the dog room is off the living room.
Maybe you can try a similar arrangement for Sam? I don't crate -- Peeks has a crate in the dog room, but that's the only one set up in the house, mostly because they take up so much room -- but I gate off areas, which works pretty much the same way. I'd give Sam a comfy bed with enough room to move around, some soft music, a bedtime cookie, and then darken the area and leave.