Anyone see improvement of sundowning with light therapy? - AgingCare.com

Anyone see improvement of sundowning with light therapy?

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A lot of info saying it can help with their sundowning symptoms. Wondering if anyone has had success and what brand / level of light did you use? ( 5,000 Lux? 10?) Medication hasn't helped, so looking for alternatives. Thx!

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Hi My Mom has had dementia for 4 years and the last 2 winters (Feb-Apr) she gets real snarky and confused in the afternoon. Once we start getting out doors for 15-20min a day for 4-5 days it gets better. It's best to do it when it's the warmest part of the day. For areas where there isn't a warmer climate the light therapy should work. It really makes a difference with being crabby.
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thanks, all! lots of great suggestions & food for thought!
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I feel obliged to add this: do an internet search: blue light retina.
Weigh the cost/benefit, maybe with the advice of healthcare professionals, including one familiar with eyes/retina.
Best wishes~
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I feel obliged to add this: do an internet search: blue light retina.
Weigh the cost/benefit, maybe with the advice of healthcare professionals, including one familiar with eyes/retina.
Best wishes~
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Light seems to help our mom during her sun-downing episodes. Music is the best therapy. Instrumental jazz gets her head bopping and feet tapping.
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I have one that I used for seasonal affective disorder. If you use it at night it will mess with your body clock and can give you insomnia.
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This has been years ago when my Gmom had Alzheimers. She was given oxygen treatments to help.
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Hi slra2015,

I have heard and seen improvements in those suffering dementia. The important things to remember is what type and how much improvement you are looking for. Many people have greater improvements from a combination of light and music therapy combined.

One of the greatest improvements I have seen is the downgrade of agitation and frustration of the person. While we currently do not have a cure for all dementia, we can make life more comfortable for them. Watching a loved one being frightened and unable to understand what is happening, arguably the most difficult a person can sustain.

While there are many types of cognitively stimulating tools at our disposal it is interesting that the information is not in one specific place. I encourage you to speak with not only the medical provider but any therapist you are referred too. All forms of therapy can and do benefit the patient and family whether physical, aroma, music, occupational or others at different times in the progression of the disease.

I have seen remarked results with light therapy, music therapy; touch therapy (Fidget Quilts) as well as animal therapy. All of these are acceptable methods of treating the person with dementia. And each can be used in the home at little or no cost to the family or person in need. This is a very acceptable treatment to take either when moving to a specialized home or to a day treatment center.

I would be remiss if not to warn that although all work alike by calming the person none of these will cure the disease process. The peace of mind the family and loved ones benefit from when the room or area is calm and reassuring is a blessing to all. And when teaching staff about dealing with unwanted behavior, it has always been prudent to remind them of ‘what you bring to the situation you will reap. This means if you go into the situation when coming on shift with tense and frustrating feelings from another situation, those with dementia know this and will act out in their own way of mirroring the same feelings or behaviors.
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Incandescent lights work just fine, Leave your lights ON, bright, until bedtime. Then when the house darkens, they will go to bed.
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Up here in north country, winter is about a month too long and SAD is just something we take for granted. Many take a week's vacation in Feb/March to someplace sunny and warm. My father sleeps well and likes to sit in his sunny, warm bedroom in the mornings, absorbing the rays. It does so much more for him than a box of light. So does going out for lunch/dinner or visits from my cheerful sister. It's after dinner that he gets restless. His caregiver leaves and he has never known what to do with himself between dinner and bedtime, as he has no real hobbies and is tired of TV. He doesn't want to go to bed too early because then he wakes up before midnight and gets confused. So he starts roaming around, going through paperwork and his mental to-do list. Then he calls me and wants me to explain details over the phone. But he doesn't give me enough information to help him and isn't satisfied with my responses. He also isn't at his sharpest. So I have to reassure him we will go through it in person when I am there. Sometimes that satisfies him and sometimes it doesn't. It's tiring because he always interrupts me and it's not as urgent as he thinks it is. But this is the time of day when he is lonely and wants to hear another voice say good-night and good-morning.
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