Sep 25, 2017 by Lisa Emmerling
Does your senior loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s disease? In honor of World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this September, Comfort Keepers of Memphis, TN is happy to offer tips for family caregivers on coping with one of the most common problems associated with this disease.
Sundown syndrome, also known as sundowning, is a symptom of Alzheimer’s that occurs in the middle stages of the disease. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are degenerative diseases. As a memory illness progresses and memory declines, the symptoms your senior loved one presents often change. The sleep disruption, confusion, and behavioral changes that come with sundowning can be overwhelming for a family caregiver. Below are some tips for coping with sundown syndrome and other Alzheimer’s symptoms:
Even when you are able to identify Alzheimer’s symptoms and the negative effects of things like sundowning, there may come a time where professional home care becomes necessary. Professional caregivers and senior living facilities specially trained in memory care may be better suited to care for your loved one. What is most important to know when coping with memory illnesses is that you are never alone.
Sundown syndrome, or sundowning, received its name because it’s symptoms typically occur in the late afternoon or evening. Alzheimer’s symptoms such as confusion are exacerbated by the end-of-day physical and mental exhaustion. According to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center, as many as 20% of seniors with Alzheimer’s will experience increased anxiety, confusion, and agitation late in the day. Being able to recognize sundowning and other Alzheimer’s symptoms is the first step in providing proper dementia care.
Poor lighting and shadows often increase confusion and anxiety with seniors experiencing sundowning. Keep the home well-lit in the evenings to help your loved one recognize their surroundings and that they are safe. Since exhaustion contributes to Alzheimer’s symptoms, make a comfortable and safe sleep environment. Sticking to a sleep schedule and avoiding mental stimulants like caffeine, sugar, or watching television before bed are also helpful.
If you are the family caregiver for a loved one with dementia, learn more about how you could benefit from in home care services in Memphis, TN. Whether you're looking for respite care and a well-deserved break or more long-term solutions, Comfort Keepers Home Care is here to help. Contact us or call (901) 207-8209 to schedule a free in-home consultation today.