Open Hands debuts new Night Lite Program

Launch Party September 1, 2009

Date August 30, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Author Editor

Publication SantaFe.com

Categories Lodging & Travel

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On Tuesday, September 1, Open Hands will launch its brand-new program, Night Lite, providing evening and night care for seniors who stay awake at night due to Sundowner's Syndrome. The program has already proven popular, but applications are still being taken. Anyone who is interested in the night care program should call Open Hands now to start the registration process and ensure their spot.

A launch party celebrating the new program will be held September 1 at 6 pm at Open Hands' main facility, 2976 Rodeo Park Drive East, Santa Fe. Members of the press and the public are warmly invited to attend!

Sundowner's Syndrome causes many Alzheimer's and dementia patients to be anxious, restless, and unable to sleep through the night. They then are at risk for wandering, falling, turning on appliances, or otherwise creating dangerous situations for themselves and their families.

Some families try to ensure the safety of their awake-at-night family member by installing barrier gates throughout their house, or by sleeping in the same room so that they will wake up if the person starts to wander. Such measures can take a toll on already-overextended caregivers, depriving them of a good night's sleep and leaving their loved one awake and alone in the wee hours with no one to talk to and nothing to do.

"Many caregivers in our community are overwhelmed," says Open Hands Executive Director Michelle Dube. "Some are juggling full-time employment, families of their own, and other responsibilities in addition to caring for an elderly parent or relative affected by Alzheimer's/dementia. We ask caregivers in our community, ‘When was the last time you and your significant other were able to enjoy a date night ... or simply get a full night's sleep?' Whether you need five hours a week so you can run a few errands, or five full overnights a week, Open Hands is here for you.' "

Night Lite is available from 7 pm to 7 am Monday through Friday, with transportation available for Santa Fe residents. The program offers overnight care complete with activities, meals and a comfortable space for rest, if desired. Night Light attendees will be invited to join in activities such as games, arts and crafts, horticulture, gentle exercise and massage, and will be served a nutritious dinner, midnight snack and breakfast. The service complements Open Hands' Adult Day Services program, which provides similar care during daytime hours for people with Alzheimer's and/or dementia. Anyone seeking more information about either program should call Adult Day Services Director Roland Pool at 428-2337.

Open Hands, a local nonprofit, originally was founded in 1977 as a hospice service with 26 clients. It now serves more than 10,000 New Mexicans each year. Its programs include daytime and now nighttime care programs for seniors in a state-of-the-art facility, a medical equipment loan bank, and a Home Safety Department that was recognized by the National Council on Aging as being one of the Top Ten in the country in 2007. The Open Hands store located at 1836 Cerrillos Road, contributes funding support to the organization.

Open Hands is located at 2976 Rodeo Park Drive East in Santa Fe. For more information on Open Hands, visit www.openhands.org or call (505) 428-2320.

Anyone interested in Open Hands' new Night Lite program should contact Adult Day Services Director Roland Pool at (505) 428-2337.

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