Some dementia and Alzheimer’s patients experience “sundowning” in the evening. Here are 9 natural tips and ideas to help caregivers deal with their loved one’s sundowning syndrome when they live in your home. While it is never fun to see your loved one confused and scared, there are some concrete things you can do to help!
WHAT IS SUNDOWNING?
It seems that there is not an actual medical diagnosis for Sundowning. According to the National Institute on Aging, it is “restlessness, agitation, irritability, or confusion that can begin or worsen as daylight begins to fade.”
Some signs of Sundowning include:
- Irrational Behavior
- Combative Behavior
- Emotional Outbursts
As a caregiver, you should be on the lookout for these sorts of behaviors occurring later in the day when your loved one’s energy and brainpower are wearing down.
TIPS AND IDEAS FOR DEALING WITH SUNDOWNERS SYNDROME?
1. KEEP A ROUTINE
Keep things the same as much as possible and look for signs early if things are not ‘normal’.
When your loved one gets sad and weepy, stay and talk about things she is interested in (shopping and the flowers outside her window). That little time focused just on her and listening to her can help her redirect her thoughts.
3. KEEP THE LIGHTS ON BRIGHT, CLOSE THE CURTAINS
It seems like you can ‘trick’ your loved one’s brain about when the sun goes down by avoiding sunset. Later in the afternoon, but before it becomes dusk, pull the curtains and turn all the lights on in the house so it is bright.
4. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Getting up and going is good for anyone, whether they have Sundowners or not! Getting your loved one moving around (take a walk, do physical therapy exercises, etc.) can help alleviate some of the symptoms.
5. FIDGET TOOLS
If your loved one is less active and not willing to exercise, then keeping her mind active is the next best thing! You could also get your loved one a fidget blanket or a cute baby or stuffed animal to keep them comforted.
6. AVOID STIMULANTS
Things to avoid from the afternoon onward
- Caffeinated sodas
If your loved one gets aggravated or aggressive, for sure limit the kind of things they have access to starting in the afternoon.
9. ESSENTIAL OILS
There are times when using a lavender pillow spray or other oils like Rosemary, Bergamot, Orange, Grapefruit, Patchouli or Frankincense can help to calm your loved one down. Use little roller bottles with some drops of essential oils and then almond oil so it doesn’t irritate the skin.
Peace of Mind with Lake Gibson Village
If you or your loved one need assistance creating a plan of care or need additional resources, feel free to give us a call or visit. In fact, you may find everything your loved one needs at Lake Gibson Village.
“At Lake Gibson Village, our top priority is to give older adults the support they need to live fully enriched lives,” says Laura Tenpenny, Sales and Marketing Director. “Whether that means giving families trustworthy advice about home safety or providing professional care within Lake Gibson Village.”
With Assisted Living and Memory Care options, we are sure to be a valuable resource for you and your loved one, should you ever need us. We would love to meet with you and help you plan for the future. Call us at 863-815-6195 or visit our website at https://lakegibsonvillage.com/ today!