Just when you think there isn’t any more left to say on the topic of dementia, you learn something new. Such as: did you know there is such a thing as an overnight dementia “camp”? You may be as baffled as I was at first when reading about it. But it’s true. Huffington Post’s HuffPost50reported on The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, where they have a program called ElderServe at Night.
What does this entail you may wonder? It’s a place where aging adults who suffer with dementia can take part in activities, such as arts and crafts, dancing, socializing and more… throughout the night. That’s right, this isn’t a “typical” day-care dementia Centre (although it does offer these services too). It is a program that runs from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.. It’s for individuals who require constant supervision throughout the night due to fear and confusion that is caused when the sun sets, and it gives caregivers peace of mind that their loved ones are cared for, enabling them to get a restful nights sleep.
Individuals with various types of dementia can have irregular sleep patterns throughout the day, which can cause sudden jolts of alertness at night. The disorientation that occurs in these individuals not only harms their mental capacity to understand what is occurring, but it can cause strain on family caregivers and interruptions to their own sleep cycles.
Like ElderServe at Night, there have been other programs that are unique and cater to individuals who have been affected by dementia, for both the patient and caregiver. Such places, for example, are Alzheimer Cafés becoming more prevalent in society. The concept originates overseas from the Netherlands, took hold across Europe and the United States, and is slowly integrating into Canada
. The first of its kind appeared last February in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
These cafés encourage individuals who have Alzheimer’s, or other forms of dementia, to socialize. It’s a space where those who attend, caregiver or patient, can feel comfortable, and where sudden outbursts are accepted due to symptoms of the various types of dementia.
We may not be able to cure dementia, we may only be able to delay its onset, but society certainly understands that we can find ways that help ease the suffering, and find a way to help maintain a person’s dignity.
To learn more about ElderServe at night, click the video below.