The power of light in the treatment of dementia

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The power of light is being used on patients with dementia. It turns out, full spectrum light, has some healing properties.  Patients at American Senior Communities, who are battling the ups and downs of dementia, are finding they are getting some relief.

“For whatever reason, and we’re not sure why, some individuals with some types of dementia will get a spike of energy,” says Melanie Perry, the Director of Memory Care Support Services for ASC. “They may experience some additional anxiety, they may get stuck on an idea or a thought or a phrase or some people will begin to move.”

The light seems to soothe those ups and downs. Perry uses verilux lights on her patients, because it most closely resembles sunlight.

“If we think about it, when we go back to grade school, learn that little acronym, roy g biv.  All those colors of the spectrum are represented by this light. Basically what that does is provide a more realistic perspective of light for the person who is perceiving it with their own eyes,” says Perry.

Patients are specifically instructed not to stare at the light.  Being near it is sufficient.

“They sit off to the side. It’s more of an ambiance exposure or an indirect exposure to the light. As long as it’s within their visual field and they experience the indirect exposure, 20 to 30 minutes a day can have a very helpful effect.”

Perry is quick to add, full spectrum lighting is not a cure for dementia or even depression.  But if it can smoothe a patients mood, American Senior Communities  is certainly making it available to patients who may need it.

For more information on full spectrum lighting click on the link below.

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