We often have caregivers explain symptoms that their loved one experiences in the afternoon. "They are hallucinating." "Their mood drastically changes." "They do not want to participate in activities or daily cares." "They start wandering more around the house or are wanting to go outside all that time." This is because the person living with dementia is sundowning. Sundowning is a term in dementia care that refers to when someone's mood or behavior changes in the afternoon when the sun is going down. A person that lives with dementia has a brain that is working twice as hard as a normal functioning brain. This can cause the person to become more tired in the afternoon, moody, confused, or short tempered.
The Views Senior Living Communities in Cedar Rapids and Marion have unique memory cares that can offset sundowning symptoms. We provide an abundance of natural light throughout our community and less florescent lighting, to maintain the bodies internal clock. We also plan activities all day, every day to keep someone living with dementia busy, especially during sundowning times. With a busy activity schedule, our residents are able to sleep better at night and feel more refreshed in the morning. With our many interventions in place to decrease sundowning, we are also able to alleviate the chance of someone being on anti-psychotics due to behaviors.
Not ready for a place like our memory care? Here are some things you can do as a caregiver at home to decrease sundowning.
Maintain a routine
Plan for more activities and less napping
Keep your house well light and a night light on during the nighttime. This reduces shadows & hallucinations
Keep in touch with your loved one's primary doctor if sundowning symptoms become worse overtime. There could be another medical reason for their major change in behavior.
If you need assistance on dementia care, reach out to one of our Dementia Care Practitioners at our Cedar Rapids & Marion locations. They can give you helpful tips & things to try at home.