Overnight Program Offers Innovative Solution to Alzheimer’s Patients
An article from Medical Express, an online medical news source, reported that the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in New York City has established an overnight program for Alzheimer’s patients who have developed sundowning syndrome; this syndrome occurs in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and results in disruptive sleep.
According to the article, the Riverdale program is an innovative solution to the problem sundowning syndrome often presents to Alzheimer’s patients’ caregivers and families: making sleeping difficult. The program offers several activities, including swing dancing, yoga sessions, movies, crafts, music, and therapies, for Alzheimer’s patients to engage in while others are sleeping. The goal of the program is to give Alzheimer’s patients a safe, structured, and entertaining environment while also allowing their caregivers and family members to rest.
Sundowning syndrome is also referred to as late-day confusion, as it exhibits more intense periods of confusion and fear in Alzheimer’s patients in the evening and through the night. Due to the heightened confusion associated with sundowning syndrome, many patients are only able to sleep for short periods at a time and can disturb others who are trying to sleep. Dr. Robert Abrams, a geriatric psychiatrist at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, explained that “…having programs available for sundowning syndrome sufferers is preferable to insisting that they go back to sleep.”
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