Sundowner’s Syndrome

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SundownersSundowner’s syndrome symptoms are a mystery to medical science. For a caregiver, it can be down-right frustrating! Irritability, moodiness and/or anxiety during the evening hours, there are ways to get through this time without a meltdown. In this article we’ve included some helpful ways to soothe these events.

Sundowner’s in simple terms is an ailment that causes symptoms of confusion that often occurs around or after sundown. The condition is anything but simple. The mind is complex. As the brain deteriorates, it’s normal to have some confusion. Even people without Alzheimer’s are typically tired and overstimulated during the evening hours, which can be overwhelming. This time of day can be especially hard for someone with sundowner’s as wall as their caregiver.

So what methods can you implement to soothe the effects of Sundowning?

  1. Regulate Sleep

    Encouraging naps throughout the day can make a huge difference. I nap should last no more than 20 minutes, otherwise they will not be able to sleep at night. A regular routine is very important. Encourage the same nap time each day.

  2. Activity during the day

    It’s no secret that keeping an active mind and body with activities and exercise can make a huge difference in your loved ones life. We’re not talking about running a marathon. Simple activities such as walking or gardening is plenty of physical exercise. Mental exercise consists of reading a book, watching a television show or you can even take your loved one to a museum where they can achieve both physical and mental exercise. Stimulating mental engagements gives your loved ones a purpose.

  3. Light and positive surroundings 

    Darkness in the house can easily influence a darkened mood. There is nothing like a beautiful sunny day to enhance positivity. Open the curtains each morning, if there’s a window. (This can help set an internal clock.) Play some of their favorite music. Reminisce about the “good ole days”.

  4. Appropriate medication 

    If nothing else is working, you may have to consider medication. Talk to the doctor about what may be appropriate for your loved one.