Tuesdays with Cyberbowie: Cognitive Disorders
Watch this clip on the night program at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale:
1. According to the documentary, what is the definition of “sun-downing”?
For ALZHIEMER’S AND DEMENTIA patients, there day begins at nigh-time.
a. According to Mr. Reingold, why does “sun-downing” sometimes occur in individuals with Alzheimer’s?
They no longer use the clock; Lose the ability to recognize time, because their rhythm is off.
They will sleep when they need to sleep, but only for a few hours.
b. What consequences does “sun-downing” have for individual’s with Alzheimer’s who are living at home
and their caregivers?
Causes tension between the patient and their exhausted caregiver: noise disturbance in the
middle of the night when the patient wants to get out of bed, make meals, etc. The caregivers
would become sleep deprived and often snap at the patient.
2. What types of services does the Hebrew Home offer at night to patients with Alzheimer’s disease?
Dancing, massage and alternative therapies when patients are most active in the middle of the
night. Music and sun-setting walks.
a. What are the advantages of this approach for the patients?
It’s silent, but yet an all-night party; it keeps the patients busy, rather then them disturbing others
Medicare pays for some of the costs and it’s cheaper to use the space in the homes at night;
b. What are the potential financial/economic advantages of this service for the wider community?
(HINT: this is covered a little bit in the last few minutes of the clip).
It would be a god-send for caregivers of those who help members with Alzheimer’s
3. Hebrew Home does not offer pharmacotherapy (i.e., medications)?
a. What alternate therapies do they offer to patients instead of medications?
Massage-therapy, pet-therapy, aroma-therapy and touch-therapy
b. Using your knowledge of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease from your textbook and lecture, do you
think that these alternative treatments would be effective? Why or why not?
These alternative treatments may only be helpful in terms of self-soothing the patient, but in
terms of helping with the memory deterioration, these treatments are not helping the patients
learn adaptive skills to better cope with brain deterioration.
c. What could be some of the practical and/or ethical issues involved in using alternative treatments to
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