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Sundowners Syndrome Symptoms and Treatment for Seniors in Winter

sundowners syndrome symptoms

Winter poses many hazards for all seniors but those with dementia may be facing a period of increased memory loss, agitation, confusion and in some cases, anger. However, these risks aren’t increased by the dropping temperatures. Instead, they are caused by the decreased hours of daylight, as Sundowners Syndrome is often the culprit for the heightened effects of dementia.

What Triggers Sundowners Syndrome?

Knowing the triggers of this syndrome can help inform a cohesive plan to alleviate the symptoms, even when the effects are unavoidable. Some of these triggers include:

  • Lower Quality Light. Due to the visual challenges posed by dementia, having a lowered availability of quality light can have adverse effects.
  • Hormone Imbalances. Research suggests there could be a link between hormone imbalances or internal clock disruptions that regulates waking and sleeping hours and Sundowners Syndrome.
  • Exhaustion/Fatigue. Studies have shown that a lack of activity after dinner, particularly lack of activity that can be contributed to fatigue, has a negative impact on the effects of the syndrome.
  • Increased Later Hour Activity. On the other hand, too much activity in the evening hours can also have a negative impact. Specifically, researchers have concluded staff changes in nursing homes toward the end of the day cause anxiety and confusion.
  • Short Winter Daylight Hours. Some research has indicated there may be a link between Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a common depression caused by lack of sunlight exposure and exacerbated symptoms of the syndrome.

Management Tips

Unfortunately, a defined treatment plan has not yet been defined for the syndrome, as the syndrome itself has not yet been well established. However, there are tips that have helped dementia patients better manage the symptoms of the syndrome with the help of their loved ones.

  • Reduction of noise such as televisions, radios and other entertainment devices, particularly in the late afternoon and throughout the night.
  • Keep track of food and take note of changes in patterns when consuming foods that contain caffeine and sugar. Be sure to monitor and limit foods that cause disruption.
  • Creating a regular, consistent routine that minimizes surprises to help with regular activity and limit anxiety about the day.
  • Light boxes have had been shown to help those suffering from SAD, and can help those with many types of depression, which can help alleviate symptoms of Sundowning.

There are also some medications and supplements that can help with the effects. Having a safe home can also be beneficial, as modifications in the home can lead to more regular activity for the elderly. Contact us today to find out if our products could help keep your loved one active in their home.

Why Install a New In-Home Elevator During Construction?

in-home elevator

Most would assume that when the home is already under construction for renovations, it is the worst time to undergo further construction by adding an in-home elevator or chairlift. However, it can actually be the best time. Whether you are undergoing construction on an existing home or are building an entirely new home, there are benefits to considering adding this to the construction list.


If you are already undergoing renovations, why not get them done all at once? Even further, the contractors you are already paying for the renovations at the time could take on a lot of the customization that comes with installing an elevator or chairlift. Since they are already working on your home, it could be part of the package that is already being paid for.

In many cases, since they are already on-site and have their tools, companies will be willing to work with homeowners to get further work since it won’t cost them much extra the way a brand new job does. It also helps to work with contractors in which you already have a relationship with, as the familiarity with them will often lead to a better deal. In fact, if you are already spending a lot of money with a company, they might offer lower costs due to your continued relationship.

Even further, they will already know and understand the layout and build of your home. This means there will be less risk of mishaps and miscommunication. Much of the issues that occur during construction of a new elevator or chairlift is not understanding the measurements and specifications of a home. Plus, you are already set up for construction and have cleared away boxes and items, so it will be more convenient for you and your family in the long term to get all construction done at once.

New Home

When constructing a new home, it makes good sense to build an elevator or chairlift, even if you don’t necessarily need one at the time. If you plan to sell or rent the home, it will already be prepared for any tenants or buyers. It will also increase the value of the home. Even further, contractors can consider specifications as the home is being designed and built rather than considering modifications after the home has already been completed. Without the extra hours and resources, you could wind up with an elevator or chairlift that is high-end without the same price someone installing such quality would face in their already built home.

Whether you are building a home or already have one, our team can help with your elevator and chairlift needs. Contact us today at Inclinator Elevette to find out how our services can help.

What Influences the Price of an In-Home Elevator

in-home elevator

When a member of the family has decreased mobility, it’s important to consider options that will make daily life easier. However, many families assume that an in-home elevator or chairlift is out of the range of possibilities. By considering what influences the price of these solutions, you can come up with a plan that addresses the needs of your loved one while staying in your own realm of affordability.

Why Should I Install an Elevator or Chairlift?

The first consideration is why you should consider one of these solutions. Accessibility is the biggest reason for either purchase. If you have a multi-level home and there are things your loved one needs on various levels, such as a shower, it becomes necessary to avoid disaster. Even further, such an installation can increase the value of a home, particularly in areas where a lot of elderly and disabled persons live.

Costs for an Elevator

On average, an elevator will cost $20,000 for full installation in a home. While it seems like a large amount of money, this figure covers all aspects of an elevator from the unit to the labor and safety requirements. However, it is important to know that elevators installed for medical reasons could qualify for a tax deduction, leading to lower overall costs.

Additional costs arise from vertical shafts that are created by architects, upscale features or materials, carpentry work, higher ceilings for access, permits, and installation.


If a $20,000 price point is not in the cards for your budget, chairlifts are much more affordable and give a lot of the same convenience. Rather than having a cabin that can travel between levels, a chair will literally lift the rider over the staircase which will lessen the risk of incident on stairwells, which pose a large risk for older and disabled folk.

Chairlifts require much less labor for installation and don’t need the shafts and heightened ceilings often required for an elevator. In fact, most of these lifts are already assembled. The track will have to be adjusted to fit the specifications of each unique stairway. Higher installation prices come from stairs that have more curves that make it necessary to further customize the track. Site complications can also add to the price, but an in-person quote can often be reliable for an estimate of how much a chairlift will cost a family.

The safety of your loved ones is important to us at Inclinator Elevette. Contact us today to find out how our services can help your family.

Cold Weather Considerations and Tips for Seniors

safety tips for seniors

As Autumn approaches, it’s time to start thinking about the colder weather before it comes. For families with seniors, the considerations are more than buying enough salt for sidewalks before the snow comes. Instead, the safety and health of their loved ones could be compromised without the right preparations. Rather than worrying about slip and fall accidents and staying warm when the first snow storm comes, there are simple considerations to make beforehand.

Slip and Fall Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control has reported that one in three people above the age of 65 suffers a fall each year. Many of these falls lead to hospitalization, making it a priority to ensure fall prevention is a regular concern in households with seniors. Some tips for prevention include:

  • Remove piles and other items that pose a tripping threat including magazine piles and small throw rugs.
  • Keep eyeglass prescriptions up to date.
  • Install grab bars in the bathroom such as by the toilet and in the shower for needed support.
  • Ensure light bulbs are replaced and all lighting is good in all rooms.
  • Check prescriptions for risk of disorientation and drowsiness that increases the risk for falls.

Keeping Warm

As we get older, the body has a harder time regulating body temperature. Due to this, cold drafts and weather have a bigger impact on the elderly. Here are a few easy tips to keep seniors warm as the weather cools down.

  • Purchase many layers of clothing. This helps keep natural body heat between layers and gives the option to change layers as temperatures change throughout the day.
  • For homes with double hung windows, regularly check that they are fully shut and not just on the top or bottom. If the home is older, a good tip is to cover the windows with plastic sheeting or saran wrap for a cheaper fix. This will work to keep heat inside the home.
  • Use the furniture to your advantage by putting backs of chairs and couches against drafty windows or doors.
  • Keep a few throw blankets in easy reach, such as on the back of a couch or the arm of a chair.
  • Check in frequently. If you can’t visit your loved one in person, be sure to call to check in regularly and make sure they are eating well and staying warm.

The safety of seniors is our top priority at Inclinator Elevette. Contact us to find out about our in-home elevator products to create a safer home for your family members.

Creation, Design and Usage of Elevators in the Home

in-home elevator inclinator elevette

The simplest definition of an elevator is a platform that is either open or enclosed that is used to lift people or cargo within a building. By design, elevators are a simple device. In the past 50 years, there has been little change to the basic lifting system used to operate the elevator. On the other hand, the control systems have changed substantially. These improvements have helped the safety and speed of operation for the machines.

When a specific building needs an elevator, it is a highly customized process since each project requires its own set of specifications for proper operation. Factors such as the height of the building, how many people need to travel between floors and how often it is expected to be used drastically change how it will be designed.

For instance, counterweights are important for proper function. The counterweights should be the weight of the elevator itself plus 40% of its maximum permitted load weight. This is done to reduce the impact on the motor by lowering how much it must lift. It also helps ensure the elevator is not able to fall out of control when the cable is intact. This is imperative for safety and also requires realistic estimates of weight and how often it will be used during the planning stage.


The actual elevator is created with steel framework. This is done in consideration of the durability and strength needed when regularly lifting height up and down a building. The floor of the elevator is typically outfitted with carpet or tile. However, the material for the flooring is not as important as the elevator itself and is done with such materials for décor and comfort reasons, primarily. Handrails and other interior trims are typically done in stainless steel. This is for posterity along with aesthetic appeal.

Quality Control

With such a potential hazard to users, it comes as no surprise that there is a high level of standard that must be achieved in these elevators. In the United States, every elevator must meet the safety standards of the American National Standards Institute and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  These standards are often incorporated into local building codes. However, there may be safety standards implemented on their own. In such a case, both sets of standards must be met. Additionally, the state in which the elevator is installed must inspect, rate and certify each passenger elevator installation before it goes into operation, and that inspection must be regularly redone.

At Inclinator Elevette, we take safety standards seriously. If you or a loved one needs an in-home elevator, trust our team of professionals to ensure the safety of your family and contact us today.

End of August Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

elderly care outdoors paddle board

With August coming to an end, many are preparing for Fall’s return but the sweltering weather is far from over. As we begin planning family get-togethers and pumpkin picking, we still must be vigilant in ensuring the safety of the seniors in our lives. Caregivers and seniors alike can use a few simple tips to ensure the end of the summer is a safe and happy time for the whole family.


Due to a decreased ability to retain water as we age, seniors are more likely to suffer from dehydration. Depending on the person, they may also have a decreased ability to feel changes in temperature and realize their own thirst. Drinking water more often can help curb some of the effects of dehydration but there should also be efforts to replace salt and potassium lost by sweat. This can be done with beverages designed with such performance in mind.

Risks of Hyperthermia

Nearly everyone is familiar with hypothermia when the body loses heat more quickly than it can produce. However, hyperthermia can be just as deadly. Hyperthermia is the beginning stages that lead to heat stroke, which can have life-altering consequences including death. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Dry, flushed skin
  • Fainting
  • Lack of sweat when it is hot
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Confusion, agitation, grouchiness
  • Body temperature above 104 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heavy breathing
  • Rapid pulse

Sun Protection

Sunscreen and hats are important for the elderly as the skin can be more easily damaged in our senior years. Regularly applying and reapplying sunscreen can give protection while hats can reinforce that protection for facial skin, which is the most vulnerable to damage. Hats also protect the eyes from damage due to UV rays.


It’s important to stay active in elder years, even when the weather is hot. Rather than only exercising indoors or not exercising at all, outdoor activities can be a great way for seniors to spend time with their families and move their bones. Having breathable clothing and protective gear, along with tracking time to ensure seniors are not in the sun for too long, can help keep folks out in the summertime fun while keeping health as a top priority.


Whether you are talking to them about the hot weather or simply checking in to see how they are feeling, it’s important to keep in touch with the seniors in your life. Seniors should feel they are able to let you know when they will be outdoors for extended periods of time so they are regularly checked on without sacrificing their favorite activities.

Elderly care is important and at Inclinator Elevette, we understand the specific needs of senior citizens. Contact us today to learn more about our home accessibility products.

What is a LULA Elevator and What Are Its Benefits?

Residential Elevator Construction

As a small business owner with a building that has several floors, you may be wondering how to make your space more accessible. Making certain that everyone, including people with disabilities, can get to your office can only benefit your company. But perhaps you cannot afford a full-size commercial elevator, or your building only has a few stories. What do you do?

A LULA elevator is the affordable and perfectly-sized solution to your woes. This type of elevator is smaller than a traditional commercial elevator, but has many benefits to it, including affordability. Learn more about what these elevators can do for you.

What Does “LULA” Stand For, Anyway?

A LULA elevator is a “Limited Use/Limited Application” (LU/LA) elevator. They are “limited-use” because they can only handle up to a certain weight and only travel a few floors in height. They’re “limited application” because you can really only install them in building like churches, low-rise apartment buildings and office spaces, and other commercial buildings that only reach a certain height.

What are Some Benefits of a LULA Elevator?

Here are a few perks of installing this type of elevator in your building:

  • They’re Inexpensive: A LULA elevator costs less than a standard commercial elevator.
  • Compact Size: These elevators take up far less space than a standard elevator, yet work just as well. They are about 42 inches wide and 60 inches deep inside the car.
  • They’ve Got a Shallow Pit: The pit for this kind of elevator is much shallower than a standard commercial elevator. LULA elevators only require 14 inches for the pit, as opposed to 48 inches for a standard elevator.
  • They’re Low-Maintenance: For a standard elevator, you need to have a maintenance person come every month. LULA elevators only require maintenance every six months. This also helps you save some money.

Who Can Use This Type of Elevator?

Schools and churches are obvious examples of organizations that could find some good use for a LULA elevator. However, there are more! If your office building is only a couple of stories tall, you can use one of these elevators. In fact, anyone who knows their building requires greater accessibility can benefit.

Invest in a Well-Designed LULA Elevator

If you’re a small business owner or run a school, you should take advantage of any opportunity you have to increase accessibility in your building. Let Inclinator Elevette be your source for high-quality, well-designed LULA elevators. Trust us, your customers and visitors will thank you. Contact us today to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions about Stair Lifts

factors to consider when choosing a stair lif

If you or a loved one requires a stair lift to be built in your home, it is important to get the facts on all aspects of the lift, from design and installation to payment. These lifts can get expensive, making it all the more critical that you how exactly to pay for them. By answering a few frequently asked questions, you can feel better prepared when making this important investment for your family.

Will Medicare Pay for My Stair Lift?

The short and simple answer is: no. Unfortunately, Medicare, at the very most, will only pay for a small portion of the cost of a lift if the lift has an elevating seat that helps the rider get in and out. However, these can get very pricey, making the contribution from Medicare fairly minuscule. Also, any Medicare supplemental insurance policies will not pay for stair lifts, either. These policies are designed to help out with co-payments and deductibles for any goods or services covered by Medicare, so if something’s not covered by Medicare, it won’t be covered by the supplemental insurance.

Who Does Help Pay for My Lift?

Certain states, including New Jersey, have programs that can help pay for these products. In New Jersey, this program is called Jersey Assistance for Community Caregiving, or JACC. JACC is not a Medicaid program and there are cost caps, which is important to consider. The link provided above has much more information on JACC, including who qualifies for it.

Should I Let My Grandchildren Play on My Stair Lift?

In short, no. Stair lifts are only for those who need to use them. They are not toys, and should not be treated as such. Your grandchild could seriously injure themselves if they play on the lift, as well as potentially break or damage it. This damage could cost you a lot of money, too.

What Are Some Features of a Residential Stair Lift?

Your stair lift should include the following:

  • A padded seat and backrest
  • Folding arms that allow access to the stairway
  • A swivel seat that will aid you in sitting down or getting up from the lift
  • Safety sensors

These are only a few essential features of an average stair lift, but they do the trick.

Get a High-Quality Stair Lift for Your Home

If you or someone you love has mobility issues, installing a stair lift is one way to increase independence and allow you to remain in your home for as long as you need. Increasing mobility can help boost mood and confidence, so don’t wait. Contact us Inclinator Elevette today to learn how our products can help you.


Get the Facts on Hiring Home Modification Contractors

A personal elevator may help prevent dangerous falls.

When someone you love has a physical disability, you want to make sure that their home is comfortable and more importantly, accessible. This can be a tall order, considering certain homes, like older houses or apartments. However, you shouldn’t feel like you’re in over your head. There are many resources out there, and this blog is one of them. In it, we’ll discuss some essential information regarding the hiring of a home modification contractor, including what to expect and some common mistakes people make.

Tip # 1: Ask for References

When initially looking to hire a home modification contractor, you might be tempted to go with the first one you see listed. After all, you want this project done as quickly as possible so that your loved one can have an accessible home. It is wise, however, to wait and get several references from the two or three contractors you have narrowed your list down to. The references should be asked if the project was completed on schedule, if there were any sort of “hidden” expenses, and what it was like, generally speaking, to work with the contractor and their workers.

If a contractor doesn’t want to supply any references, run far away! This is a sign that they cannot be trusted.

Tip # 2: Get Several Bids

Home modification projects are going to get expensive, especially if a bathroom remodel is involved. That’s why it’s important to get several different bids from contractors regarding the specific work you are requesting.

Also, be wary of bids that are very low. They may be too good to be true. Hidden costs can creep up on you, particularly when you don’t read the fine print. Financing may always be a bit of an issue, so go with the contractor that offers the best job at a relatively good price.

Tip # 3: Figure out Times and Schedules

You probably don’t want your contractor showing up at 5 A.M. to do the job. Being clear about what times you are available, as well as what times are best for the contractor to work, will benefit everyone involved.

Setting a schedule is also a wise decision. There may be days where there is bad weather, or maybe the parts for your remodel arrived broken. While these things happen, it is still a good idea to set up a work schedule with both your hours and your contractor’s in mind. That way, your remodel will be as close to on schedule as possible.

Tip # 4: Address Specifics in the Contract

When creating a contract between you and the company doing your home modifications, make sure to stop and consider the details. For example, how often will the contractors clean up their work area? Will they clear debris? And what about their construction equipment? Will it destroy your yard or driveway?

These items can easily be forgotten, but they are still very important. You don’t want you or your loved one living in a dusty, paint-splattered house or apartment until everything’s finished.  Considering the details will go a long way in making certain that the remodeling process goes smoothly.

Call the Professionals When it’s Time

If you are looking for home modifications that involve an in-home elevator or dumbwaiter, those require a professional who can do the job right. Contact us today for quality service and installation. Our team at Inclinator Elevette will work with you to design and install the solution that’s best for your home.

Tips for Installing a Dumbwaiter in Your Shore Home

dumbwaiters installed by Inclinator Elevette

If you own a shore home, you know that the construction of your house is unique. It probably has a longer than average staircase, which can make getting upstairs and downstairs difficult. When you have heavy items to carry or even just a few bags of groceries, a simple task becomes much more complicated and frustrating.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Installing a dumbwaiter is a good way to ensure that you won’t get injured from carrying heavy boxes or bags up those tall stairs. These handy lifts look like miniature elevators and work pretty much the same way. They can be used to carry groceries, water or even laundry from downstairs to upstairs and back again.

Benefits of a Residential Dumbwaiter

There are several benefits of installing a dumbwaiter in your shore home:

  • They are a worthwhile investment. While dumbwaiters may appear expensive, the assistance and convenience they provide make them well worth the cost.
  • They can be discreet. Dumbwaiters don’t have to have a brightly-colored sign on them and can be designed to be as unobtrusive visually as possible.
  • They can be designed with the construction of your home in mind. Not all dumbwaiters have to look out-of-place and dated in a more modern shore home, nor do they have to be sleek and futuristic if that’s not what you want.
  • They are easy to use. Dumbwaiters can be used by anyone who needs one.


Some Basic Tips for Using Your Dumbwaiter

Not everyone will immediately know what to use a dumbwaiter for, or how to best use it to suit their specific needs. Here are some quick tips:

  • Use for laundry. This may seem silly. After all, not all loads of laundry are incredibly heavy, and you may feel that it’s not necessary. But imagine all the wear and tear you’d save your knees if you used the dumbwaiter instead! That alone is pretty convincing.
  • Use for groceries. This is a great idea for anyone who has a kitchen on the second floor of their shore home.
  • Use for other heavy items.  When you have large, bulky jugs of water, use your dumbwaiter to get them to wherever they need to be.

 How to Fix and Service

If your dumbwaiter breaks or gets otherwise damaged, we would advise you to not try to fix it yourself. There are many moving parts in these machines, and the average individual doesn’t know how to properly handle them. This could lead to serious injury. When in doubt, leave repairs and maintenance to the professionals.

Call the Professionals

Once you’ve made the decision to order a dumbwaiter, make sure you get one from the experts. Inclinator Elevette is your source for these machines and much more. Make your life simpler by contacting us today.