What is Sundown Syndrome and How to Manage it

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | July 19th, 2018

Sundowners syndrome, or sundowning, is a state of confusion that often times occurs later in the afternoon to the evening. The condition is most often found in patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It is comprised of a range of behaviors including increased confusion, anxiety and aggression. Sometimes people with this condition tend to pace or wander, and they may ignore or not hear instructions being said to them

While not a disease in itself, sundown syndrome is a common pattern of behavior to watch for in seniors at a specific period of time each day especially if they have been diagnosed with a form of dementia.

Common Symptoms

The symptoms for Sundowning is usually paired together rather than one at a time. In some people, days and nights get reversed while others only have symptoms for an hour or two in the evenings. Below are some of the common symptoms that you can tend to notice in an individual experiencing Sundowning.

  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Hallucinations
  • Sudden Mood swings
  • Increased confusion
  • Aggression
  • Violence
  • Disorientation

Tips to Managing Sun downers

While you can’t completely eliminate Sundowning with any known medication you are able to mange some of the common symptoms.

  1. Have a predictable schedule to maintain throughout the day. This allows for less surprising and
  2. Always approach them in a calm manner. Avoid yelling or raising your voice. Don’t touch them in an unexpected way
  3. confusion for the individual as they will know what to expect during each day.
  4. Monitor their diet, by limiting caffeine and sugar
  5. Limit Daytime napping as to increase sleepiness during the night
  6. Distractions can be helpful, keeping things that the individual loves to do, or helps to sooth them. Some great examples can be a favorite movie, keeping busy with a hobby, playing a favorite music or song

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