I see that winter's officially arriving this weekend with the changing of the clocks back to GMT in the early hours this Sunday.
I'm probably considered quite strange, as I actually like this. All of the seasons have played a big part in my love of my native UK and I really missed them when living overseas in countries with no seasons. Each season here seems just long enough, so that by the end of each one, I'm always ready to welcome the next new chapter, and that's how I'm now feeling about the coming winter.
But I'm wondering if any carers find that the winter season and early darkness can be challenging for the dementia sufferers they care for.
My late sister used to suffer behavioural difficulties at every clock change, maybe because it was confusing to be suddenly doing something in the dark which previously had been done in daylight, and vice versa. It was more marked at this time of year when the days are getting shorter.
And, as she'd always been inclined to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, she would become increasingly depressed. We did find it helped to get her one of the special lights that helps to combat it.
Until she went into a care home, we tried to adjust her routine a bit, changing things like the timing of her evening meal, so that, to her, her routine was less disturbed. On nice days we'd try to encourage her out into the garden at least for a few minutes, to give her what natural daylight there was, and that served another purpose in stopping her from taking an afternoon nap and then becoming disorientated and agitated when she unexpectedly woke up after dark.
Generally though she was grumpier and inclined to behavioural challenges, particularly with the long hours of nighttime darkness. Has anyone else noticed the same thing?