Wednesday Workshop – Easing Sundowning Symptoms
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. If your loved one develops or is already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they may experience sundowner’s syndrome, a condition where the hours around sunset make your loved one agitated, restless or aggressive.
We suggest trying these tips and tricks for easing sundowning symptoms:
1. Establish a Routine
Establishing a routine is extremely beneficial for the person with Alzheimer’s. Creating a routine gives the person structure, which brings the feeling of safety and comfort. Also, keeping your loved one in familiar surroundings during the sundowning hours helps keep feelings of confusion and anxiety at bay.
Symptoms of agitation and restlessness can be alleviated by doing light exercises every day. Exercising provides a release for nervous energy and produced endorphins that make you feel good. Encourage your loved one to take short walks, stretch or try Tai Chi.
3. Avoid Caffeine and Sugar
Both caffeine and sugar can cause huge spikes in energy followed by a crash or restlessness. Limit your loved one’s consumption of sugar and caffeine, instead try decaf coffee.
4. Light Therapy
Shadows, darkness, or the glow of the sunset can make a familiar place seem strange and uncomfortable. Utilizing full-spectrum lighting in the home can help ease your loved one’s anxiety and discomfort. Consider installing Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps, which uses light that mimics the sun. By giving your loved one the illusion that the sun is still up, these lamps help sooth sundowning symptoms.
To speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center
Feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!