Nov 21, 2017

How to Use Bright Light to Improve Mood and Behavior in Alzheimer's Patients

One of the most important things I learned as an Alzheimer's caregiver was how to use bright light to change my mother's mood and behavior.

Bright light can be used effectively to change the mood and behavior of Alzheimer's patients.
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

My mother, Dotty, had a tendency to get in a bad mood around 4:30 PM each day. It was like a form of sundowning. Learn more about that situation by following this link.

She might say things like I'm going to bed, or something much worse. What really struck me was the look on her face. It seemed like she wasn't there; or, sometimes like she as very unhappy. I didn't like the look on her face and it continued to bother me.

Along with this I noticed that whenever I put her in bright light her mood changed; and, she often seemed happier.

The Alzheimer's Caregiver Blame Game

When you blame a person living with dementia for something they did you should try to remember - it might not be their fault.

Caregivers often blame dementia patients for things they have no control over.
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I was talking to an elderly woman that was having a particularly difficult time dealing with her husband who lives with Alzheimer's disease.

When we started talking before I knew it she was off and running. She talked non-stop for about twenty minutes. She was clearly stressed out. It did not surprise me, I have seen and heard it before.

At the core of what she was saying was a single theme, blame.

Why Do People Living with Alzheimer's Want to Go Home?

Do Alzheimer's patients want to go home? Or are they longing for a time and place when they were safe and secure and knew everyone's name and face?

Most Alzheimer's patients want to go home, Why?
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

My mother repeatedly said she wanted to move back home to a place where she had not lived for over 60 years - South Philadelphia.

The sound of her voice, the look on her face, the look of confusion and longing, often made me feel deeply sad.

Nov 16, 2017

My Father with Alzheimer's Stares at Us and it Feels Creepy

Think of your father as being swept away by currents of memories that cause him to appear as if he is staring at you, but he may instead be reliving powerful memories.

Why do Alzheimer's patients stare so much, why do they look at us vacantly.
By Rita Jablonski
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Our friends at Alzheimer's Team shared this question from a reader with us; and, asked if we could supply some insight.
“Don't know who else to ask. My father with Alzheimer's has recently started staring at me or my wife. Now, I understand what his brain is going through. Or what he might be thinking. But is there any way to make it less Creepy ? Or any info I might not know that can help me understand better, to make it "Less" Creepy ? Thanks.”

Our expert Dr. Rita Jablonski agreed to tackle this question.