Music and Dementia: Does Music Therapy Help Revere the Effects of Dementia in the Elderly?

Dementia is a progressive disorder which can lead to the loss of short term memory and a diminished ability to reason, communicate or process information. The frustration these symptoms bring the patient can result in bouts of depression and behavior problems. The burden of dealing with the breadth of these symptoms has led doctors and caregivers to seek out alternative therapies. One of the most popular involves the use of music for dementia.

Music has been seen as a source of healing more publicly since it was used on veterans of WWII. Studies have continued to show the impact music can have on patients suffering from all forms of neurological disorders, including dementia. Its benefits affect both the physical and mental issues that stem from this mental illness.

Why combine music and Dementia?

The many qualities of music tap into different levels of brain function. The limbic system, or the part of the brain responsible for long term memory, remains active even in patients with advanced dementia. Childhood memories of songs are brought out when patients are exposed to the sound of the music and lyrics. Continued therapy has led many to begin tapping their foot to the rhythm, even singing along. Listening to music, singing the words and making music all require different types of brain activity. Although music therapy can not cure dementia, research shows it has the potential to slow the progress by activating the brain and its neurological connections.

Beyond the physical benefit lies the impact on the mental state a person suffering from dementia. The decrease in short term memory, struggles to communicate and reason lead many to become depressed and easily agitated. These men and women become like children. They feel trapped in a mind and body that is not capable of expressing itself or being independent. This leads to a frustration that manifests itself in childlike acting out. It is often these symptoms of dementia that are the hardest for caregivers to handle. The combination of music and dementia has been shown to calm this agitation and increase social interaction. The realization that their minds are still holding on to memories of the life they had also helps ease depression. Music helps them to grasp at something that makes them feel whole again, even if for a short time. A person with a strong mental state is able to respond to other therapies and lessens the weight of their care for their doctors, facilities and family.

The Future of Music and Dementia as an effective Treatment

The research is far from complete in regards to music therapy and its impact on dementia sufferers. The fact that each patient needs the music tailored to their specific situation makes it difficult to do standard trials. However, the well-documented benefits of music therapy for neurological disorders has been substantial enough to lead Medicare to reimburse the cost of the therapy. Medicaid also supports its use in some situations, helping to lift the considerable financial responsibility that plagues these families and care providers.

Music has always been a source of pleasure. It opens up the heart and mind in ways we are just now starting to fully understand. It has been said that music calms the savage beast. It does so much more. It gives dementia sufferers a chance to reconnect with their past memories and with the world around them. For the families and caregivers, music is much more than notes and lyrics, it is a hope strong enough to lean on.

MRSA and the Elderly – The Real Risks and How to Prevent It

MRSA is the abbreviation for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a Gram-positive coccal bacterium. Prior to the development of penicillin, MRSA was the cause of death for many people. Usually death was caused by pneumonia, an infection of the lungs that was called ‘the old person’s friend’, meaning that a frail, sick, elderly person would be taken quickly by this ailment.

MRSA and the elderly are unfortunately compatible, as elder patients often do not have a sufficiently strong immune response to fight off the infection. In hospital situations, health care providers are regularly swabbed to see if they are carrying it. So long as MRSA stays colonized, and the carrier is particular with hygiene, there is no problem. It is the transfer of MRSA to the skin, the urinary tract, and the lungs that is a real danger.

A small scratch on the skin is enough to trigger MRSA in the elderly. The elderly are notorious for not wanting to make a fuss, and will probably not mention it to their caregiver until the infection has got a good hold. Caregivers, whether professional or family, should keep a close eye out for such a situation.

MRSA and the Elderly – Symptoms to look for

If any combination of these typical MRSA symptoms is observed in an elderly patient or loved one, be sure to seek medical attention immediately:

  • A small break in the skin becomes warm, red, swollen and painful.
  • Fever
  • Pus coming from the wound
  • A wound appearing as an abscess
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Malaise
  • Shortness of breath

MRSA and the Elderly – Prevention of Infection

Prevention is, as with all infections, best served by frequent and effective hand washing, and the use of an antibacterial gel on the hands. If an elderly person has a urinary catheter, they should wash their hands before using the toilet to evacuate their bowels, as it is easy for colonized MRSA on the skin to be transferred to the catheter, and thus to make its way into the bladder. Hand washing after is essential too. If possible, the elderly should take daily baths or showers, using a moisturizing lotion after to reduce the tendency to dry, friable skin.

Caregivers should wear latex gloves when dealing with any surface infections, and dressing the wound is essential to prevent further infection to others. If the dressing becomes soiled from pus in the wound, it should be replaced. If there is any likelihood of pus splashing the caregiver, they should take all precautions such as a gown or mask and goggles, to minimize the danger to themselves. All bed linen that is soiled should be replaced as often as necessary, and towels should be clean. The caregiver should wash his/her hands on a clean towel that should be replaced immediately upon the person leaving.

Obviously, anyone with a compromised immune system should keep away from the infected person, but family members who are healthy need not worry, so long as hand washing is carried out after visiting. And at Assisted Living Today we recommend taking a natural immunity booster like Del Immune for anyone struggling with weakened immune response.

Medicaid Assisted Living Beneifts – Does Medicaid Pay for Assisted Living?

Oftentimes, we are met with the unfortunate circumstance when our aging loved ones need attention and care outside the scope of our capabilities. In these cases it is important, should we have to make that ultimate decision to seek a remedy through assisted living toward the comfort and aid of those in our care—that we know what resources are available and what are the prerequisites for their use.

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What Does Medicare Pay For?

Medicare pays for short-term rehabilitation, and not long-term care. Medicaid, the nation’s low and no income public medical insurance program, on the other hand, does pay for long-term care. However, Medicaid does maintain a means test for the allocating of funds for nursing home care. This means test, which measures the recipient’s income level against a set percentage of the national poverty level, determines the recipient’s financial requirement for his own care. Income, for the purpose of this test, is considered to be any actual income, any real property, vehicles, and non-essential possessions; Medicaid has the right to request the sale of any property that belongs to the recipient to meet the recipient’s contribution to his long-term care. Furthermore, in part due to the Debt Reduction Act, the program utilizes a five years “look-back” to investigate any transfer of property to family members; these properties are also considered recipient income and can be seized for the payment of care.

As far as Medicaid assisted living benefits, neither Medicaid nor the United States’ Department of Health and Human Services has an official policy toward the payment of assisted living services or a particular predisposition toward the issue. According to AARP—formerly the American Association of Retired Persons (http://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/info-09-2010/ask_ms_medicare_question_89.html) –the individual states may, at their discretion, implement a waiver program to allow funding for assisted living facilities. Medicaid has admitted that these waiver programs are more economical than full nursing home care, and the cost saving justifies the states’ free hand in this matter.

Where To Find Information

Information on Medicaid state enrollment and the states’ waiver programs can be found at http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-State/By-State.html. Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia are the only states that currently accept all Medicaid waivers. Other states may have other long-term care programs, such as New York’s Long Term Home Health Care Program; but, funds are not specifically apportioned for assisted living care.

Choosing the right care for yourself or an elderly loved one can be overwhelming. However, it is a relief to know that the care we need can be readily available depending on our income, location and other factors. If you are looking for assisted living communities and using Medicaid, be sure to explore what options are available to you in your state, whether through a waiver program or otherwise. Checking with your local council on Aging or other elder health organization should be able to provide you with further details for your unique situation.

Announcing the Winners of the 2012 ALTY Blog Awards

We’ve got some big news! Winners for The 2012 ALTY Blog Awards have been decided.

best senior living and senior care blog posts You the voters have spoken and you’ve chosen this year’s best senior care and senior living blogs from across eight different awards categories. And you spoke loudly, with more than 12,000 votes being cast over the course of a month. And it was an exciting competition with many winners being decided by only a handful of votes.

So who are the winners? (drum roll please……) Here are your 2012 ALTY Blog Awards Winners!

We also announced runners-up and finalists in each category as well. To see all the final results and how the voting shook out in all awards categories, just click a category link below:

Congratulations to all winners, runners-up and finalists. And special thanks to everyone who voted and helped make this year’s ALTYs a rousing success

Did You Earn an ALTY?

Were you a winner, runner up or finalist in this year’s ALTYs? Let the world know about your achievement by placing a custom badge on your website that you can find here:

2012 ALTY Blog Award Winner
2012 ALTY Blog Award Runner Up
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Mesothelioma and Seniors: What You Need to Know

This article is a reprint courtesy of our friends over at Asbestos.com and was authored by Rachel Gilner, Outreach Coordinator.

Mesothelioma is most commonly found in seniors, with the average age of diagnosis at 62 years old.  Mesothelioma has a latency period of 20-50 years, so an older demographic who may have been exposed in the early 19th century would just now be seeing signs and symptoms.  There are a few other factors that contribute to the high number of mesothelioma cases in seniors such as occupational settings, and asbestos exposure in WWII.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer primarily caused by exposure to asbestos.  The most common type is Pleural Mesothelioma, which affects the lining of your lungs.  The asbestos fibers are lodged in this area causing irritation; this is when signs and symptoms will begin to occur.  There currently is no cure for mesothelioma, so awareness is the only prevention for this disease.

Occupational Settings and Seniors

Seniors were a part of the workforce that was more likely to experience asbestos exposure on the job since asbestos was used more frequently before the 1970s and ’80s.  According to NIOSH, over 75 occupational groups are known to have exposed workers to asbestos.  The mining industry has been shut down in the U.S but at one time was a very popular occupation. When asbestos mining ended, with the closing of Lowell chrysotile quarry, the highest risk of occupational exposure was in the construction industry.  They began using asbestos for many products throughout the 19th century to build homes and other building structures.

WWII and Asbestos Exposure

WWII lasted between 1939 -1945, the time when asbestos was discovered to have an excellent resistance to heat.  Asbestos was used in all aspects of the military, but the most use was in the navy ships and shipyards.  Veterans who served before the hazardous material was phased out (1940-1970) are at most risk as the navy has made very little effort to inform sailors of the potential dangers.

Mesothelioma Takes Decades to Discover

This disease takes anywhere form 20-50 years after being exposed to asbestos to show signs of symptoms.  When mesothelioma symptoms start occurring (chest aches, shortness of breath) they are often confused with many other illnesses and often go un-tended to.  The most unfortunate part of developing mesothelioma is that it is often diagnosed at a much later stage than other cancers because it has been dormant in your body for so long.  Although mesothelioma has been found in young adults, the majority of cases are in people over the age of 60.

With no warnings of a health hazard in regards to asbestos throughout the 19th century, many senior citizens have been exposed.  Whether their exposure comes from serving in WWII, doing industrial work, or even being a family member of a worker, many seniors are at risk for developing mesothelioma.  For additional information on mesothelioma visit The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com.

The Mesothelioma Center provides patient advocacy services to answer questions about asbestos-related diseases.  If you have been exposed to asbestos they can help you take the proper steps to getting a diagnosis, discovering treatment options, and finding a specialist near you.  Patient advocates can be reached at 800-815-7924 24/7.

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing Home Care Agencies

When the decision is made to provide a senior citizen with assisted care, there are a number of questions that should be kept in mind when talking to the various available home care agencies. Here are five questions to ask home care agencies in order to help you find the best match for your situation:

1. What are the home care agency’s qualifications?

Home caregivers should be trained and certified in the areas of assistance that the patient needs. For example, if the patient has Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll want to make sure that the home care agency you’re talking to has home care professionals that are trained to help senior citizens with that particular disease. In addition to putting the patient at ease, having an amply qualified professional helps reduce the worry and stress of relatives and other loved ones who may be sharing the responsibilities of caregiving.

2. Does the home care agency assign each patient with his or her own dedicated caregiver?

It’s hard to receive personal and appropriate care from home care agencies when the caregiver changes from week to week. While employees can change, each senior should have a dedicated caregiver who knows their needs, their desires, and their personalities to give them the best experience possible.

3. How much does it cost compared to other home care agencies?

Every agency handles billing differently, and people considering home care need to know what sort of fees may be associated with it. It’s important to find out if the agency payments are covered by Medicare in whole or in part, what payment plans are available, and what additional charges could crop up at a time of emergency. For in-home care it’s also important to know if the home care agencies pay their caregivers or if they expect payment from their patients directly, particularly for sick days, vacations, or other missed days of care.

4. How does the home care agency handle emergency situations?

Patients and their loved ones both deserve fast, accurate, and knowledgeable communication between the patient, agency and medical practitioners involved. Having a medical emergency and having your family waiting on hold with an agency receptionist is stressful for everyone involved. Whether dealing with a genuine health emergency or a false alarm, both need to be taken equally seriously and dealt with quickly, keeping all parties informed and as calm as possible.

5. Can you access some of the home care agency’s references?

Asking potential home care agencies for references is important so that potential patients can get a sense of how previous patients have been treated, how their families were treated, and how they interact with hospitals and other medical professionals. If possible, a good home care agency should have a doctor or hospital willing to vouch for their quality of care, as well as previous clients who are willing to answer questions about their services.

When it comes to the quality of care that is provided for your elderly loved ones, many would spare no expense. However in these tough economic times it isn’t always an option to be picky. It’s important now more than ever that you choose a home care agency that can provide excellent service without overcharging or causing unnecessary stress. Hopefully with these questions in mind, that decision will be made much more easily.

Elderly Depression: 5 Effective Treatments

Elderly depression can often be difficult to treat due to the variety of factors that can contribute to depression in the elderly. Options for treatment of elderly depression seem more limited than those for younger individuals due to the higher likelihood of medical factors contributing to the disorder in senior citizens, dementia being particularly difficult to work around.

For those seeking help through medication, this also becomes more complicated, as their bodies may react differently than a younger patient, and they are more likely to be taking other medications that could pose a risk if combined with antidepressants. There are, however, 5 proven approaches to easing elderly depression:

1. Increasing Social Interaction

Relieving loneliness, through any method, is especially recommended for cases of mild depression. Psychosocial treatment can consist of participation in group exercise or group discussions about various topics. The topic need not be depression. Simple interaction with others often relieves symptoms of depression. Sometimes social interaction is not even necessary. Just going on a walk may be enough to deal with mild depression.

2. Light Therapy

Recent studies have shown that bright light can ease depression in many depression patients, including the elderly. Just one hour of exposure to bright light every day has been shown to have dramatic effects in battling depression symptoms. The wonderful thing about this approach is that it can work equally well on patients with dementia, since the light seems to cause a chemical response which is not impaired by the person’s connection with the reality around him or her.

3. Talk therapy

Traditional talk therapy is an old favorite of psychologists for a very good reason. It simply works for a lot of people. If an elderly person is free of dementia and does not suffer from a severe form of depression, talk therapy might be sufficient to deal with their depression symptoms.

4. Antidepressant Medication to treat Elderly Depression

If an elderly person’s depression is more severe, if it lasts longer or seems to seriously debilitate him or her, then it may be necessary to administer antidepressants. This may be necessary more often in people who suffer from symptoms of dementia as well as depression. Talk therapy and social interaction are often not feasible with such cases.

The recommended anti-depressants for such cases are serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These drugs increase the amount of chemicals in the brain that stave off depression. However, these should be a last resort because they also cause thinning of bones. If you care for the elderly, you know that fractures, especially hip fractures, are a grave concern.

5. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

There is a form of shock therapy known as electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT. In general, caregivers do not have a good reaction when they initially hear about this type of treatment. However, it has been proven to have good effects in many patients and is not as violent as it may sound. One possible side effect, however, is loss of memory, so particular care must be taken in elderly patients who are inherently at a higher risk for memory loss than younger patients.

 

5 Non-medical, Natural Alzheimer’s Treatments that Work

Alzheimer’s disease ranks sixth in the list of top mortality causes in the United States. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are 5.4 million people afflicted with the disease, and this number is expected to rise rapidly in the coming years as the baby boomer population ages.

While we have yet to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, or a common medicine that can reverse its effects, a number of natural Alzheimer’s treatments have shown promise in terms of slowing down disease progression and enhancing quality of life Alzheimer’s patients:

Natural Alzheimer’s Treatment #1: Omega-3 fatty acids

Found primarily in fish oil, this ingredient on the list of natural Alzheimer’s treatments has been shown to slow down cognitive degeneration. University of California researchers experimented with mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s symptoms. They found that a DHA diet decreased the presence of specific proteins responsible for neural damage in the brains of these test subjects. The study indicates that DHA supplementation may be helpful in suspending the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms. DHA is a type of omega -3 fatty acid found in eggs, fish, organ meats and algae.

Natural Alzheimer’s Treatment #2: Vitamin E supplements

A 2009 study presented at the American Geriatrics Society Annual Scientific Meeting showed that a therapy combining high vitamin E doses with a cholinesterase inhibitors slowed down the declining ability of Alzheimer’s patients to perform routine functions. Vitamin E is a viable alternative to other Alzheimer’s treatments but medical providers caution that large doses can be risky. This natural Alzheimer’s treatment should be pursued only under strict supervision by a health care provider. Food sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, broccoli and other greens as well as fruit like mangoes.

Natural Alzheimer’s Treatment #3: Lifestyle changes involving diet and exercise

A Mediterranean diet based on whole grains, fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables and healthy oils has been proven to benefit both heart and brain function. In conjunction with regular physical activity, this diet has been shown to reduce cognitive decline and to prevent its early onset. Proper nutrition and staying physically and mentally fit shows promise in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms, along with a host of other benefits outside of memory function.

Natural Alzheimer’s Treatment #4: Sensory therapy

With declining cognitive abilities, Alzheimer’s patients can find new ways to communicate with caregivers through various sensory activities. Drama and music are often provided in long –term care facilities as a means of encouraging communication and relaxing the patient. Dance is a low impact physical activity that gives patients a sensory experience. Art activities such as pottery, done in a group setting or as an individual project is another sensory skill that that helps stimulate the mind and work to slow the progression of this disease when used in combination with other Alzheimer’s treatments.

Natural Alzheimer’s Treatment #5: Acupuncture

The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization recognize the efficacy of acupuncture in treating a variety of medical conditions. Limited studies conducted by Wellesley College researchers found that patients affected by mild to moderate Alzheimer’s symptoms reacted positively to acupuncture treatment. Depression and anxiety scores and thinking skills showed a marked improvement. A separate study performed by Hong Kong researchers found enhanced cognitive abilities in Alzheimer’s patients after a series of acupuncture treatments.

Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But natural Alzheimer’s treatments that slow down disease progression are welcome news for patients and their caregivers, and promote a healthier body and mind overall, which is central to maintaining a higher quality of life, whether suffering from Alzheimer’s or not. Have you found any of these treatments to be helpful in your experience with loved ones or patients suffering from Alzheimer’s?

Anxiety in the Elderly: 5 Common Sources

Anxiety is a common feeling. Almost everyone falls victim to its clutches one time or another but those who suffer from anxiety disorders or prolonged anxiety episodes understand how debilitating of a feeling anxiety can be. Although there are a number of different things that can cause anxiety, anxiety can often go unnoticed or untreated in the elderly.

It isn’t unusual for anxiety in the elderly to translate into mood swings and behavioral problems. Many caregivers often dismiss mood swings as part of the individual’s personality. While this may be the case in certain circumstances, there may be other reasons for these behavioral changes. As caregivers or medical professionals, it is important to try and understand the position and situation of the elderly individual being cared for before dismissing important signs as simply routine ups and downs.

Here are five common sources of elderly anxiety. Does the elderly person in your life possibly struggle with any of these concerns?

Source of Anxiety in the Elderly #1: The Fear of Forgetting

The possibility of forgetting a lifetime of memories often times leaves elderly men and women feeling vulnerable and unsure of themselves. Everyone, old and young alike, have forgetful moments. Keys go missing and shirts are misplaced. But, to the elderly, a forgetful moment reminds them that it can easily lead to another and then another until larger pieces of the puzzle begin to go missing. This fear leaves many feeling anxious and on edge.

Source of Anxiety in the Elderly #2: Large Crowds of People

Large crowds can be overwhelming to an elderly person, especially those who are frail and in poor health. All it takes is one bump or accidental shove to cause severe damage. A fall can easily result in a broken hip or worse.

Source of Anxiety in the Elderly #3: Being Home Alone

This is particularly true for individuals who live alone and have no one to help with daily activities and chores. The number of emergency call buttons that are now being produced are proof that slips and falls are a common occurrence among the elderly. While there may be a number of new ways to obtain help in such a situation, this doesn’t eliminate the fear that a fall or accident while alone will happen.

Source of Anxiety in the Elderly #4: Living Affordably

Living within a fixed budget can become overwhelming, especially with the cost of living skyrocketing and medical bills piling up. An elderly person may not have the option to go back to work to order to make ends meet. The idea of having to rely on friends and families or, even worse, not having a way to pay for living expenses, can produce a lot of discomfort and worry.

Source of Anxiety in the Elderly #5: Losing Independence

As elderly people grow older, they become more and more dependent on the help of others, and this can be a difficult transition to accept. Driving becomes more difficult and often times impossible and for those living in nursing homes or assisted living, even everyday tasks may require assistance. Many elderly people will adamantly deny their loss of self-reliance as they struggle to accept the changes taking place in this phase of their lives.

There are of course many other sources of anxiety for the elderly, but the five you’ve just read encompass a vast majority of the elderly population’s concerns. By understanding the causes of elderly anxiety, you can cater your interactions with your loved one or patient to help address their concerns and reduce the emotional discomfort they may be feeling. While medication can help, sometimes all that is needed is openness about the root cause of the anxiety, and finding a way to accommodate in order to provide a more reassuring, low-stress environment where the elderly patient feels comfortable.

Sundown Dementia Episodes at Home: 3 Sundown Dementia Management Tips for Caregivers

Caregivers of family members with dementia often notice a particular set of symptoms that may start around dusk and last well into the evening. It is called sundown dementia, sundowner’s, or simply sundowning. The person with dementia usually becomes more disoriented, more agitated, more anxious, more confused and more unsettled during this time. This can happen because seniors with dementia may have a very hard time keeping up their energy for enough hours to get through the day. It can also happen because of sleep disturbances during the night, or an insufficient diet. There is no concrete cause of sundown dimentia, but there are several steps you can take as a caregiver to help reduce the severity of sundown dementia symptoms.

1. Manage Activities

Carefully planning the day’s activities will help. If sundown dementia episodes are related to exhaustion, it makes sense to get any strenuous and difficult tasks out of the way first, early in the day. Daytime naps can help with this problem as well.

Also, do not let the patient lie or sit around the house hour after hour, day after day. Everyone needs some form of exercise, as well as social contact. Work with the patient to devise a routine that includes physical activity. If strenuous activity is out of the question, at least encourage and accompany the senior on light activities such as walking or chair calisthenics.

It’s also beneficial to make sure that your loved one has someone to talk to. If she does not want to talk to outsiders, spend some time in free talk with her yourself every day. Foster relaxation, especially at sundown, with favorite books, movies or hobbies. Avoid activities that are difficult or frustrating.

2. Work on the Diet

Seniors are prone to inadequate or unbalanced diets. They may feel like they do not need to eat a special way because of the fact that they are no longer growing – an attitude that may begin in middle age. They may begin to dislike the taste of some foods they used to like. Elderly people who are on medications sometimes suffer from nutritional deficiencies related to the pills they have to take, a loss of appetite, or difficulty eating solid foods.

Whatever the reason, a senior’s diet deserves special attention. Sundown dementia will decrease if the elderly patient is well nourished and as healthy as possible. Avoid caffeine, especially as those evening hours draw near. Request that they have any small sweet treats they are going to eat early in the day.

A mini-meal in the afternoon will give dementia patients a boost of energy later in the day and stave off that feeling of fatigue and exhaustion. In general, try to remember that they need to be well-nourished to face the end of the day with plenty of stamina.

3. Control the Atmosphere

One thing that can really make a big difference in how much sundown dementia affects people is the atmosphere of the household. Try to create a warm and gentle atmosphere. Use lighting that is both soft enough to be pleasant and bright enough to create an atmosphere of alertness. Keep the room at a temperature that will make your senior comfortable and avoid any surprise visits or abrupt bursts of activity or noise.

Start a sundown routine of drinking a cup of herbal tea together to greet the evening with a positive attitude. Experiment with different types of music until you find the songs that help the elderly person in your life relax and enjoy the evening. Caregivers have a difficult job to do, but knowing how to deal with sundown dementia can change evenings from dreaded hassles to manageable family moments by adjusting the senior’s home environment to calmly welcome each evening.