SYMPTOMS OF DEMENTIA

Light therapy can contribute to the wellbeing of dementia sufferers

Dementia is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain affecting cognition, thinking, conceiving, reasoning and functional ability. it also causes a disturbance in behaviour and mood (1, 2, 3, 4).

As dementia progresses, carrying out daily activities without help becomes difficult and sometimes impossible. Worsening of the symptoms leads to further memory loss and difficulties with recognition and perception and time and place orientation.

In the later stages, people suffering with dementia become more confused and find it more difficult to remember, recognise and react to objects and people within their familiar environments.

Eventually, intensive and often around the clock support and care is needed, which can place a great strain on caregivers (often spouses and family members) if the dementia sufferer stays at home. As a consequence of worsening symptoms, professional care in a care home setting is often needed.

Treatment

While there is no cure and no treatment that can slow or stop the progression of dementia, there are pharmacological treatments that may temporarily alleviate some of the symptoms of some types of dementia.

It has been recognised that non-pharmacological alternative therapies can help, including light therapy, which help promote physical and emotional wellbeing (1,2,3).

The benefits of light

Older adults and people with dementia, who are not exposed to sufficient amounts of natural daylight, can benefit greatly from biodynamic lighting, enabling them to be more active during the day, whilst enjoying quality sleep at night.

By exposing older adults and people with dementia to biodynamic lighting, their body can be re-synchronised to a natural 24-hour day and night rhythm, which can ultimately enhance a sense of wellbeing and quality of life.

Find out more about biodynamic lighting and dementia >>

References

  1. Alzheimer’s Association (2013) Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp
  2. NHS Choice (2011) Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Alzheimers-disease
  3. General Practice Notebook (2013) Dementia www.gpnotebook.co.uk
  4. Alzheimer’s Society (2013) About Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia www.alzheimers.org.uk