Senior Care Tips for Sundowners Syndrome: EasyLiving Blog
Have you noticed your loved one with dementia experiencing changed sleeping patterns and more difficulty late in the day?
Most likely you are experiencing the set of symptoms termed Sundowners Syndrome or sundowning behavior in dementia. For a variety of reasons (from our bodies' natural rhythms and light signals to learned patterns), persons with dementia may have particular difficulty in the late afternoon and evening hours. The person often feels a sense of restlesness and agitation--a need to go somewhere or do something, the sense of being unsettled. This may manifest itself as a need "to go home" and lead to wandering or may show up in a variety of behaviors.
Senior care providers should be aware of this set of symptoms and watch for such patterns. A care facility may want to staff this time of day differently or plan for specific activities and try to manage the environment. Some examples include changes to lighting, providing distracting and/or calming activities during this time, ensuring residents have a snack and are well-rested and reducing irritating stimuli. More one-on-one attention may be needed for safety and reassurance during late afternoons and evenings.
Senior caregivers caring for a loved one or client at home should also monitor for different behaviors and patterns. What are some things you can do to better manage sundowners syndrome and provide safe, dignified dementia care?