The most popular new sleepover camp isn’t for kids - it’s for Alzheimer’s sufferers who are up all night with exhausted caretakers who need a break from watching them. A number of Alzheimer’s sufferers have “sundowning syndrome,” which means they get disoriented when it starts getting dark and they refuse to sleep, or are so agitated they can’t sleep. And because they’re wide awake all night that can turn into trouble, because they think nothing of using the stove to cook dinner at 2am and forgetting about it, or wandering outside for a late night walk. So that means sleepless nights for their caregivers who have to keep watch around the clock.
Studies show that the number one reason people check family members into nursing homes is because they’re too sleep-deprived to care for them. So, that’s where new sleepover camps come in. Like the Hebrew House in New York. From 7pm to 7am, the trained staff offers non-stop activities to keep Alzheimer's patients busy until the morning. Like yoga, mambo dancing, and movie marathons. The “sleepover camp” also keeps the shades down and all the lights on, so that Alzheimer’s patients don’t even know it’s nighttime to begin with. That way, they’re not as disoriented or stressed.
The camp costs about $200 a night but experts say it’s often a lifesaver because it keeps Alzheimer’s patients busy and safe - and lets their tired caretakers, usually their children, get some sleep.