Sundowning syndrome is something that happens to some people who have Alzheimer’s disease. You might hear it being called late-day confusion. This is because the confusion that is experienced usually happens later in the afternoon, in the evening, or even at night. Your elderly loved one might have confusion earlier in the day, but it gets worse later in their day. As a family caregiver, learning how to manage the symptoms of sundowning syndrome can be helpful.
Schedules Make a Difference
If your elderly loved one has sundowning syndrome, they could develop a range of symptoms such as anger, confusion, stress, and memory loss. These will get worse during the evening if your elderly loved one does have this condition. It is important to realize that schedules do make a difference. They can prepare your elderly loved one for what is going to happen. They can make your elderly loved one feel calmer, as well.
Lighting is Important
If your elderly loved one’s home casts a lot of shadows, this could easily cause worsened symptoms later in the day, evening, or at nighttime. Many people who have sundowning syndrome will get scared when it is too dark, as well. One of the best things you and the caregivers can do for your elderly loved one is to make sure there is enough lighting. You don’t have to make it really bright. However, you should ensure your elderly loved one can see well enough if they need to get up.
Physical Activity Matters
You should also keep your elderly loved one active throughout the day. This way, when evening hits, they are tired and ready for bed at the appropriate time. There are many things you can do to keep your elderly loved one physically active throughout the day. You can go for a walk with them, have a dance-off, cook with them, garden, and more. You don’t have to tire them out to the point where they are completely exhausted. However, keeping them quite active can help them to fall asleep earlier, preventing sundowning syndrome symptoms from happening. In addition, many elderly people with dementia sleep during the day if they aren’t active. This can make it more difficult for them to fall asleep at nighttime, making the symptoms even worse.
Eating Pattern Changes
You could help to reduce the sundowning syndrome symptoms for your elderly loved one by getting them to change the way they eat, as well. For instance, did you know that if your elderly loved one eats a larger meal before they go to bed, it will take their body longer to digest it? This could cause them to stay up with stomach spasms and pain. All of this could make them more irritable and keep them awake later into the night. If you can get your elderly loved one to eat a smaller meal, this can reduce their symptoms.
Sundowning syndrome symptoms can be reduced for your elderly loved one. If you and the caregivers follow these tips, you can help your elderly loved one to feel better later in the day and get better sleep at night, too.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in Bowie, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585.