Health

Oct 1, 2012 1:36 PM by Greg Boyce

Overnight care offered for Alzheimer's patients who can't sleep

NEW YORK (AP) - A "night camp" program offers hours of overnight activities for those with Alzheimer's and similar diseases, who often have trouble sleeping at night.

Their caretakers at home, meanwhile, get a treasured night's sleep.

Experts say there's a great need for such services, but costs are high and programs like the one at Hebrew House in New York City's Bronx borough are rare.

During a recent visit, patients danced or swayed to a raucous version of "La Bamba." Later they sliced bananas and assembled fruit salads.

For the more profoundly afflicted, there are quiet rooms in which the patients' senses are gently stimulated.

A geriatric psychiatrist says the program is preferable to fighting nature by insisting on nighttime sleeping.

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