17 Nov Understanding Sundowner’s Syndrome with Alzheimer’s Disease
Understanding Sundowner’s Syndrome with Alzheimer’s Disease
Loved ones who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease may become more confused and agitated throughout the course of the day. They may feel confused or restless throughout the day and become more anxious during the evening hours. These symptoms may continue to get worse throughout the night, and the person may even become violent because of their growing frustrations.
Sundowning is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It’s also known as “late-day confusion.” For people suffering with sundowners, they experience increased confusion, agitation and even anger in the late afternoon and evening.
Potential Triggers for Sundowner’s Syndrome
Some triggers increase the likelihood of experiencing sundowning symptoms. These triggers include:
- Feeling Tired: As day turns into night, a person with Alzheimer’s may start to feel tired. Their brain is vulnerable, especially after being awake for eight hours. Stimulation becomes overwhelming, and some Resident’s cannot process what is going on around Feeling overwhelmed in addition to being tired can contribute to a breakdown.
- Biological Clock Issues: If a person has a hormonal imbalance, or if they have other medical issues, they may suffer from internal biological clock disruptions. These can lead to a physical disturbance, including nervousness.
- Routine Changes: When a new Resident moves into an Alzheimer’s care facility, it is not uncommon for them to initially experience increased Sundowner’s symptoms. This is because any change in routine can make a person restless, overwhelmed, or agitated. Windemere Park of Oakland located in Troy is experienced in dementia care and help the Resident transition comfortably. Once the Resident has adjusted these symptoms will decrease.
- Depression: People with Alzheimer’s may suffer from depression and have a difficult time functioning during the day. As they become tired, their difficulty turns to frustration. Symptoms of depression such as sadness can increase in the evening.
- The Caregiver: Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is very challenging. Trying to understand their needs can be just as frustrating for the caregiver as it is for the person with dementia. Caregivers become fatigued at the end of the day, just when the person needs more patience. At Windemere Park of Oakland, located in Troy, dementia trained replacement staff is scheduled throughout the day, providing renewed energy.
- Easing Sundowner’s Syndrome
While there is no definitive treatment, there are things caregivers and loved ones can do to help lessen the symptoms of Sundowner’s Syndrome.
One way to avoid sundowning is to keep the Resident on a structured schedule, this helps eliminate confusion. Outings, busy environments, or activities should take place earlier in the day and afternoons should be tranquil to help create a relaxing atmosphere. Also, caregivers can limit the amount of caffeine and sugar in an Alzheimer’s Resident’s daily diet. It’s especially important to limit such dietary stimulants in the late afternoon or evening hours.
Finally, provide regular activity so that they do not grow bored or restless, daily exercise and physical activity is so important, This will also assist them in winding down physically so that they are ready for the night. Windemere Park of Oakland, located in Troy, is available for the support, encouragement and experience you need to help your loved one affected with dementia.