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Donated light boxes to brighten NH vets home

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm •  Published: January 27, 2013

Treatment often involves sitting in front of a special lamp with a very bright light that mimics sunlight for 20-30 minutes each day. That could be particularly effective for patients with dementia who might not have the attention span for longer alternative treatments, Prendiville said, but she expects most of the home's 200 or so residents could benefit from it in some way.

It was serendipitous that the light boxes were donated just in time for winter, and at a time when the nursing home industry as a whole is assessing whether medication is always the best choice for depression and other psychiatric ailments, said Barry Conway, commandant of the veterans home.

"It's not going to be a silver bullet, but it's going to be a big help," he said.

Ross Houston, the general manager of Laconia Harley-Davidson, said he was a bit surprised when officials at the home put light boxes at the top of their wish list. He moved to New Hampshire three years ago after growing in Florida, where seasonal affective disorder is less common. But once he learned more about the issue, he was thrilled to be able to help.

About a third of Harley-Davidson riders are veterans, and the shop in Meredith has made a point of supporting veterans' causes over the years, Houston said.

"We owe it to these folks to recognize the efforts they've made and make their lives more comfortable," he said. "It's a wonderful feeling to know people are going to get the help they need."