Monday, January 23, 2012

Full Moon

If you have ever worked in a nursing home you know about the "full moon effect."  There are theories and talk about the full moon effecting behaviors of patients with dementia.  Those patients are said to have more confusion, agitation, wandering, and an increased number of falls due to the full moon.   I don't know if I really believe it, but I have never done a real study of it either.  Behaviors do seem to cycle.  Many residents seem to cycle with falls as well.  Whether it is the full moon may just be circumstance, but you never know.  Personally, I think that it is a way to explain things when we want to find an explanation, though it might not be the cause.   As caretakers, we are constantly trying to find the root cause of behaviors and falls.  If we can't figure out why a person's behaviors are escalating, maybe it is because of the full moon.  Why was there an increased number of falls over a weekend?  Must have been the full moon.
 We are always looking for answers, and sometimes, we can't find one, and therefore feel lacking.  Sometimes we also don't want to believe that we could be the cause.  Maybe the increase falls over the weekend have to do with staffing, or lack of programming etc.  Or maybe just the full moon!

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