Sundowner’s syndrome is a mystery to medical science. Patients with irritability, moodiness, and anxiety during the evening must be monitored by a caregiver. There are some approaches that can help manage sundowners ‘s symptoms.
What Happens to a Senior with Sundowner’s?
Sundowner’s syndrome is an ailment that causes symptoms of confusion that occurs after sundown. There are certain hours of the day that sundowners syndrome occurs, typically during the evening hours. It can become challenging for caregivers during these hours.
The brain is confusing, and it complicates matters even more when someone suffers from this disorder. As the brain deteriorates, confusion is natural. The end-of-day is also a time when people are usually over-stimulated and exhausted, which can be frustrating.
Sundowner’s is not only rough on the one afflicted, but on the caregiver as well. The mind isn’t processing information normally, creating nighttime suffering.
For a minute, let’s stop. Healthy people are often moody at night in their prime. Even kids tend to act up at night. Therefore, when someone has a brain disease, it only makes sense just darkness to spread behavioral problems in combination with fatigue.
As mentioned in a previous post on sundowning and dementia, natural circadian rhythms respond to the loss of sunlight; it’s a very human response to be more depressed at night. But the issues are heightened in dementia sufferers.
What Are 4 Things You Can Do to Help Seniors with Sundowner’s?
Although everyone is different, there are ways to help make life a little easier during those dusk hours. So what are these top tips:
1. Get Sleeping Patterns Under Control
It is important to know the regular routine of your loved one. You don’t want to overdo napping, or they won’t be able to sleep through the night, but the benefits of sleep are rejuvenating. Encouraging one or two catnaps, no more than 20 minutes, relaxing throughout the day can make all the difference.
2. Keep Rooms Well-lit
Encourage the feeling of light by having well-lit rooms, which tends to improve the atmosphere and distract from it being cold outside. Listening to music that your loved one enjoys can also help boost morale, inspire fun, and bring about good memories. Allow light exposure in the morning if there is a window that can also help set a natural inner clock.
3. Stay Motivated
It’s no secret that it’s good for everyone to have a healthy mind and body with stimulating and balanced practices and exercises. This is particularly true for those suffering from Alzheimer’s. It’s important to be aware of a healthy balance of activity, tailored for each individual senior.
Whether it’s promoting exercise, such as walking or gardening, or nourishing the brain through a museum visit, or reading a good book, stimulating mental activity gives purpose to your loved one.
4. Taking the Right Medication
It might be time to consider a suitable medication if nothing else works. For those with Sundowner’s, there are specific medications on the market, so talk to your loved ones doctor about what might be right for him or her.
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Reno Valley is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact Reno Valley today to learn more about our services or tour our community.