As the seasons march along, those of us living with dementia experience a variety of changes, some good, some not so good. Depending on our region, the sprouts of green promises a positive shift. Unfortunately, that is accompanied by a national time change that may affect your loved one’s daily routine. The change in natural light and the circadian rhythm disturbances of Alzheimer’s results in an adjustment that may increase sundowning behaviors. Caregivers find themselves living their own ides of March even as they benefit from the increase in natural light. Add to this the cloud that a diagnosis imposes on present and future plans, caregivers often find themselves in an emotional winter.
If the crocus, the daffodils, and the budding of leaves fails to bring you hope—turn to Arden Courts for a splash of hope. A day at Arden Courts for you or your loved one will lighten the grey of winter and give you and your loved one hope. What are the components of hope that make Arden Courts unique?
- Routine is an anecdote that Arden Courts has used to weather the seasons well. Every day has a structure that is dependable, regardless of season.
- Design freedom and comfort—whether inside or out, an individual with dementia has the independence and the security to optimize life.
- Employing natural light as well as the research-based environmental light has modulated mood swings and matched circadian rhythm.
- Family inclusion, from orientation, to service plan, to regular family nights—Arden Courts provides care to the total family system.
- Programming that challenges and comforts cognition regardless of stage.
Arden Courts has been mediating the Ides of March for individuals living with dementia for over twenty years. Don’t take our word for it, take a tour, accept a day of daycare, join us for a family night---experience spring at Arden Courts.
By-line: Cate McCarty, PhD, ADC has been collaborating with Arden Courts in a variety of roles since the late 90’s. Her background in nursing, activities and admissions has given her a passionate commitment to quality of life for the individual and family with dementia.
Volicer, L., Harper, D. G., Manning, B. C., Goldstein, R. & Satlin, A. (2001). Sundowning and circadian rhythms in Alzheimer’s disease, American Journal of Psychiatry, 158(5): 704-711.
Bright Light Improves Dementia Symptoms; WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20080610/bright-light-improves-dementia-symptoms
Onega, L.L., Pierce, T. W., Epperly, L. (2016). Effect of bright light exposure on depression and agitation in older adults with dementia; Issues of Mental Health & Nursing, 37(9): 660-667.