sundown syndrome

When the Sun Sets: Coping With and Managing Sundown Syndrome

You might notice that the symptoms of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, or a form of dementia, get worse as the sun in Ogden begins to set. They might grow restless or become more confused during the late afternoon and night, and calmer and collected during the morning. Your loved one might be “sundowning,” which is also called “late-day confusion.”

The following information may come useful in reducing its effects and helping you determine whether to take your loved one to a comfortable nursing home in Ogden.

The Signs of Sundown Syndrome

Sundowning isn’t a separate condition from Alzheimer’s or dementia. It’s a collection of symptoms that exacerbate the existing effects of other mentally impairing diseases during the late afternoon and early evening. They may showcase the following behaviors in a short period before and after sunset:

  • They’re more aggressive
  • They ignore directions
  • They become more anxious
  • They’re more easily confused
  • They take to pacing ore wandering about more often

In some cases, these effects are amplified and aggravated by other factors, such as:

  • More shadows
  • Dim to low lighting
  • Bodily fatigue
  • Disturbances to their internal clock
  • Infections, like urinary tract infection

This information is crucial if you put your loved one in a care facility. The staff will then know the right behavior and routines to help manage the condition. It’s also important to recognize the symptoms so that you’re better equipped to help your loved one.

Managing Sundowning

managing someone with sundown syndrome

Although they may seem a little disconcerting, you can reduce the effects of sundowning. You can make your loved one’s evenings more comfortable by trying out some of the following techniques.

  • Try to calm them by playing relaxing music and soothing sounds. The music can be from your loved one‘s favorite records or songs they’re familiar with. Singing along with them could distract them from the sunset and its effects. Classical pieces with soft piano or guitar instrumental sections are also an ideal choice. Alternatively, you can use a variety of calming sounds, such as recordings of ocean waves or rainfall, to help them get to sleep faster.
  • Take them to an environment with fewer stimulating features. Although the transition from light to dark is the primary cause of late-day confusion, other stimulating events, like loud noises from the radio or bright colors from the television, agitate it. Make sure their space is quiet and free of auditory and visual disturbances.
  • Make sleep easier by engaging them in physical activity. Tiring them out in the morning can help your loved one avoid the confusion of sundowning by letting them sleep through the night. Play light physical games with them or let them do chores around the house. Cooking and baking under your supervision may be a distracting and fulfilling activity. You could also let them get some fresh air by exercising outside. Take a brisk walk around the block or signing them up for a senior’s calisthenics class.

Evenings should be a time to rest and dream in peace. People with sundown syndrome find it hard to reach this level of relaxation. With your assistance, you can make their evenings more restful and your nights more peaceful.

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