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I am the POA of a friend (91) with dementia. Because of a fall and broken femur, thus surgery and anesthesia, his dementia has declined tremendously. I had to move him from Assisted living to skilled care in the same facility. The facility overall is one of the best in the area, but on the Alzheimer's floor in skilled care they keep all the lights dimmed in the common area and hallways. Thus it's very gloomy and depressing. I call it an above ground cemetery. I think they want to keep them sedated by sitting in an area with no lights on.


So I am looking for any links you can send me that I can show the facility that what they are doing is not good for the residents. I don't want my friend being in that environment but if I am not here I can't do anything about it.

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When a person ages, their eyesight can develops issues. I know my parents, who didn't have dementia earlier on, kept the house like a cave... I needed a miner's hat with a light. And for them the sunshine bothered their eyes. Both had macular degeneration.
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I do take him outside to the patio weather permitting or we will sit in the bistro area in Independant Living or their living room. It's only our 2nd day in skilled so I'm trying my best to stay calm! I'm here with him usually from 1230-8pm and was hoping to cut back a couple hours a day but don't want him sitting in the dark. If he stays in his room he has excellent outdoor light and all indoor lights on but then no company. Not sure which is better or worse. Appreciate the insight.
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I know in the ICUs I work in we try to mimic normal natural light,, bright in the day and lower in the night. It helps their sleep patterns and normal routines. But I have no studies to call to mind.
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I've read various theories about light and dementia too. I'm not sure what to believe. I tend to go with what my LO always liked before she got dementia. She was never an outdoors kind of person. She sunburned easily and didn't like the sun at all. She kept most of her curtains pulled year round. She would enjoy a short trip outside once a day to the mail box.

Even after the dementia, I would escort her outside to the patio, but, she would want to return inside soon after. I have noticed that in her Memory Care unit, they keep normal lights on in the hall, activity room and dining room, but, not the residents bedrooms.

I'd ask about their theory on the lights. I'd be curious to hear their explanation.
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It may be that bright/flourescent lighting causes overstimulation.
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You have had me googling "optimal ambient lighting for dementia" and following suggested links from there. There are lots of studies linking various light levels with health in general and dementia care in particular, some are rather technical reads. I'm not sure presenting a study will get you anywhere though, especially if this reduced lighting is a pet project of someone on staff who believes a different study. Is there any opportunity for your friend to get outside during the day or to at least sit near windows? Nobody disputes that natural sunlight is the best "light therapy" available.
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