Alzheimer’s Disease and Sundowning. Caring for a loved one that suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia can become very exhausting for the caregiver. Your loved one my become irrational or exhibit erratic behavior. For more information about Care Giver Burnout, click HERE.
Additionally, they may begin wandering or begin suffering from a condition known as sundowning.
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Learn how tools such as a Caregiver Monitors can help then feel safe and comfortable. I have found for some this orientation clock to also be helpful. Read our blog on Caring for Alzheimer’s and dementia in the home for more tips.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Sundowning
What is Sundowning?
Sundowning, simply put, is when a loved one’s symptoms seem to worsen later in the day or evening, causing them to become confused or irritated. This generally occurs in mid to late stages of the disease and can become extremely difficult to deal with for the caregiver. Listed below are some ways to help reduce the effects and make it easier for both the caregiver and your loved one.
Tips to Reduce the effects of Sundowning for Alzheimer’s Disease
-Stick to a daily routine, doing the same tasks at the same time and in the same way each day
-Keep wake and sleep times at approximately the same time every day
-Have your loved one stay active during the day and limit naps
-Lighting can be very helpful. Fluorescent lighting that is bluish white has been proven to mimic daylight and help with circadian rhythm, making the bedtime transition easier
-Having larger meals at lunch instead of dinner can also help with night time sleep, as your loved ones body won’t be focusing on digestion as they try to rest
-Limiting television can help limit irritability
-Soft music is a great alternative for entertainment
Potential Safety Hazards and Ways to Reduce or Eliminate them
When it comes to your loved one, you may have noticed they have begun pacing, wandering or exit seeking. There are several reasons that they may be doing this. Here are some tips that may help prevent or reduce some of these hazards
-You can purchase a Caregiver Monitor that will alert your caregiver if you loved one is exit seeking
-Redirecting and reassuring your loved one
-You can provide a safe environment for pacing by removing tripping hazards such as cords
-Sometimes signs on doors can be a deterrent from using a door to exit
-You may also consider painting or wallpapering your door to match the surrounding walls
I hope you found this information useful. Remember to make the most of the time you have left with your loved one. They may not remember your name, but they do know how being with you makes them feel.
Please Watch my Video for More In-Depth Information!
You may also find this article on Essential oils for Alzheimer’s and dementia helpful!