Sundowning, also known as “sundown syndrome,” is where individuals with cognitive conditions like dementia (often seniors) experience increased agitation, confusion, and behavioral disturbances in the late afternoon and early evening. This condition is thought to be related to changes in the circadian rhythm and can be challenging for both the affected individual and their caregivers. You may notice that your loved one is sleeping during the day and waking up each evening confused and disoriented, which could be a sign of Dementia. So, is there a way to help with sundowning? Here are a few tips to consider if your loved one is struggling with Dementia.
Find The Right Help
If your loved one is in the mild stages of Dementia and wants to live at home for as long as possible, it is possible for them. Just because they are suffering from a disease does not mean their wants and desires should be put on the back burner. However, your loved one may need more help than you can give them, or they may need someone with experience dealing with Dementia patients. Finding the right 24-hour home care for your loved one will be crucial if they want to age in place. These professionals may also be able to help with sundowning by allowing your senior to have a routine that helps get them to bed at the right time. 24-hour home care is a great solution for those struggling with Dementia and sundowning.
Create a Routine
One of the biggest mistakes a senior can make, whether or not they are battling Dementia, is not having a routine they stick to. Even seniors not struggling with anything may not know the importance of a routine or may forget what their routine is. This is something that can drastically impact when a senior goes to bed. If they constantly go to bed at 8 PM every night, their body is more likely to get tired around that time even if they don’t realize it, which means they can get to sleep at a regular hour.
You can still watch movies and go for walks as a senior with Dementia, but if you are trying to stop sundowning from becoming a regular occurrence, it may be best to do those activities in the morning. Doing things or activities that are super stimulating in the evening can keep a person up whether or not they struggle from Dementia. Ensure they are doing relaxing activities before bed to wind down from the day. This can greatly impact how ready someone is to go to bed.
Keep an Eye on Diet
Although no diet’s going to help reduce the risk of Dementia, diet can play a role in how sleepy you become at bedtime. Suppose your senior loved one is accidentally drinking caffeine during the evening or eating a lot of processed sugary food right before bed. In that case, you may notice they don’t become tired at bedtime. It’s important to understand what they’re eating and how it impacts their bodies. 24-hour home care can help your loved one figure out what to eat and ensure they are avoiding caffeine and sugar before bed.
If you or an aging loved one are considering 24-hour home care in Ridgewood, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Applause Home Care today. Call (201) 326-8051
Applause Home Care provides independent, non-franchised quality Home Care for elders and families in and around Fort Lee, Hackensack, Ridgewood, Wyckoff, Paramus, Glen Rock, Pompton Plains, Franklin Lakes, Westwood, Montvale, and Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
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