Oct 5, 2017 by Lauren Rosa
Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia are chronic neurodegenerative diseases affecting millions of senior Americans. The most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s include progressive memory loss, feelings of confusion and anxiety, and behavioral changes. By the middle stages of the disease, additional symptoms may develop. Such is the case with sundowning, a reoccurring symptom of Alzheimer’s characterized by increased anxiety, confusion, agitation, and disruption of the sleeping cycle.
Dementia care service providers are proud to be a part of Alzheimer's Disease International campaign that aims to raise awareness about the challenges many families face when their loved one is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
If you have a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia care services can help you can find some answers for coping with the peculiar phenomenon of sundowning.
Sundown syndrome usually occurs during the sunset or later in the evening. This is because physical and mental strain can cause the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease to increase by the end of the day. According to some studies, more than 20 percent of older adults with Alzheimer’s frequently experience increased anxiety, confusion, and agitation in the evening hours.
By being on the lookout for Alzheimer’s symptoms such as sundowning, you can provide better dementia care and create better living conditions for your loved one.
Shadows and lack of lighting in the living space can increase anxiety and confusion. Your loved one can recognize their surroundings better and feel safer when you keep their home well-lit, especially as the night falls. Sundowning and other Alzheimer’s symptoms can be also be exacerbated by exhaustion and lack of sleep.
To help your senior mom or dad avoid this, you can make certain they always go to bed and get up at the same time, refrain from drinking coffee or eating sweets just before bedtime, and avoid long naps during the day. Not keeping the TV in their bedroom can help too.
Since Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, your loved one will most likely require help from a professional dementia care provider by the time they reach the advanced stages of the condition, maybe even earlier. That is why it is important to find a care solution best suited to your parent’s needs before their condition becomes critical.
Assisted living facilities and in-home caregivers experienced in memory care can help your senior loved one slow down the condition, making sure they are safe at all times.