Patients with dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, have several symptoms that they manifest. One of these is Sundowner’s Syndrome, which becomes very prevalent during the middle and late stages of the disease.
The Syndrome takes its name from the fact that its symptoms set in at dusk, just before the sun comes down. A dementia patient that has Sundowner’s will exhibit drastic mood changes and extreme behavior, including:
- Restlessness, characterized by pacing
- Angry outbursts
The symptoms of Sundowners can be very stressful to both patients and caregivers alike. However, since most Alzheimer’s patients are subject to home care, there are ways that you can delay or minimize the onset of symptoms before the sun sets.
First, you can keep your house well lit even during the day. Keep as much of outside light from coming in as possible, so your patient cannot tell exactly when the light is about to change during dusk.
Private duty services will also assist you in making sure that your Alzheimer’s patient has enough exercise during the day. This way, they can expend as much energy in the hours that precede sunset. They’ll be tired enough that they can get a good night’s sleep without going through the tantrums and outbursts associated with sundowning.
You can also use music to calm seniors with Alzheimer’s down when they are sundowning. Just advise your specialist in live-in care services on which music the patients like to listen to.