My mom's dementia got increasingly worse in the nights leading up to the last full moon (March 20). She was extremely agitated, wide awake until 3 am, trying to take her clothes off, wanting to get up and make the bed in the middle of the night, her sentences were completely nonsensical and frequently I couldn't even distinguish words at all, even though she was "talking". Then about 2 days after the full moon, she was back to her usual dementia symptoms.

I'm guessing there's not much I can do other than be prepared for some really long, bad nights? Does anyone have additional experience for how long it lasts? It seems that it got worse about 3 nights leading up to the full moon, then 2 days after, she was back to her usual.

Find Care & Housing
When I was working in SNF, some of the Residents were definitely affected by full moon. I had just walked off the elevator and one of my ladies asked me to throw her in the ocean. She said I wouldn’t get in trouble, ah yes I would. A gentleman told me he was going to die that night and he has a DNR. I assured him that his paperwork was in his file,and he was fine with that. Next day, my gentleman was playing cards, I went up to him and said hello and he said good to see you...all forgotten..we did have a room that the call light would come on with nobody being in the room during full moon.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to LisaNJ

Two to three days before the full moon, Mother is more anxious especially at night, pacing and looking out the windows, getting up from bed several times to check door and window locks. This will go on for hours. Drives me nuts. Then a few days after the full moon she calms down.
I have an adult son with schizoaffective disorder and he is more manic than usual during the full moon and afterwards he becomes subdued.
I also have a teen with HFA and he becomes more anxious and grouchy during the full moon.
So, yes, I have to agree that the full moon influences mood.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MumsHelper

Yes the full moon makes me restless too. It helps to be in a bedroom with good light block-out, unfortunately not always possible. Animals are up and moving, so sometimes there are more sounds outside as well. Leading up to full moon, the moon is still in the sky at the time when we are reaching the end of night's sleep, so it shines right into our bedroom. Full moon nights are called 'white nights' in some languages. They used to be the nights for socialising, because the horses could see the road on the way home. 'Lunatics' weren't the only people who wandered about when the nights were bright.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

I posted pretty much this same kinds of question a long time ago on the Eve of the'Super" moon lol! My Mom was sundowning then real bad. I tried to go back and find it but it was too long ago. I speaks thought she was worse when it was a full moon. If I remember right the while hospital was really crazy! Ewe....just checked my calendar and its Friday. I can see why you have this question!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to BootShopGirl

I would have to agree that there is something with the full moon. Ask any er, paramedic, police officer, nurse, casino employee. Can't explain it, just is what it is.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Takincare
NeedHelpWithMom Apr 3, 2019
Interesting, isn’t it?
See 1 more reply
Here are a couple of websites that discuss sundowning and the effects of the full moon on people with Alzheimer's.
"People with Alzheimer's and dementia may have problems sleeping or increases in behavioral problems that begin at dusk and last into the night (known as sundowning)."
"Can We Explain Odd Behavior During The Full Moon?
Alan M. Beck of Purdue University conducted a longitudinal study “to objectively examine the lunar influence on the frequency, duration and intensity of behaviors in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.”
The Alzheimer’s Behaviors Examined:
wandering, anxiety, physical aggression, &
verbal confrontation.
The study concluded that individuals with AD exhibited significantly more behaviors during periods of full moon, and that these behaviors were of a greater duration during the full moon."
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to DeeAnna

Science says no but many nurses say yes. As do caregivers. I say if the moon can move the oceans (tides) it can do other things we can't prove yet.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to OldSailor

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter