What’s Sundowning and What Can You Do If It Happens?

Sundowning is a troubling symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s called sundowning because it tends to hit later in the day when the sun starts to go down. Not every Alzheimer’s patient gets it, but if it does happen, it can be stressful for all.

Home Care in Lauderhill FL: What is Sundowning?

Home Care in Lauderhill FL: What is Sundowning?

End Afternoon Naps.

If your parent is prone to take a nap in the afternoon, try to end this habit. By keeping your parent active all afternoon, the desire to sleep will be stronger at what’s considered a normal bedtime. At 9 or 10 p.m., establish a bedtime routine. Your parent can brush their teeth, read or listen to an audiobook for 30 minutes, and go to sleep.

Stop Bad Habits That Impact Sleep.

An alcoholic beverage right before bedtime is likely to make your parent less sleepy. Caffeine is another thing to avoid. Don’t let your parent have caffeine or chocolate after lunch.

Keep your parent from drinking a lot of liquid before bed. If the bladder is full, it’s going to impact sleep. It could also lead to accidents in the bed.

Create a Soothing Bedroom.

A few tricks help create a soothing space for sleep. Use an essential oil diffuser to fill the room with a scent that relieves tension. Lavender and chamomile are good choices. Play white noise to keep outside noises from waking your parent. Have room darkening shades that keep the sun out if it stays brighter later into the night. The shades also help keep out the bright light of the moon when a full moon hits.

Avoid Triggers That Cause Agitation.

Make sure the things that typically agitate your mom or dad don’t happen. If your mom gets angry when she’s hungry, serve a light snack at the time you typically see her becoming frustrated. If boredom aggravates your dad, play games or start working on a jigsaw puzzle at that time. Pain, exhaustion, and thirst are other common triggers.

When sundowning does hit, don’t get angry or upset. Calmly address your mom or dad’s outbursts. Show them what time it is and reassure them that everything is okay as you get them back into bed. If you can’t get your parent into bed again, stay up with them or call someone to take over while you get some sleep.

If your parent has sundown syndrome, make sure you have support for both you and your parent. Home care services offer respite care to family caregivers. You can take a break and avoid excessive frustration and caregiver burnout.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Lauderhill, FL, please call the caring staff at Activa Home Health Care at (561) 819-4112.  Serving Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and surrounding communities.