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Sundowning Symptoms and Signs

senior couple sitting on couch at home with wife looking at husband for sundowning symptoms and signs

Sundowning is a condition that describes the mental and physical deterioration that some senior citizens may experience as they age. This normal process is generally associated with memory disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s. It can be very distressing for both the senior and their family, so it is essential to understand sundowning signs, what causes them, and how you can help your loved one manage sundown sickness. For many people experiencing sundowning, finding quality memory care for seniors can make all the difference.

If you suspect a senior you care about is showing sundowning symptoms, you can count on the memory care services at Calder Woods to help. We provide top-quality services from our professional, friendly staff to help residents with memory disorders manage sundowning symptoms and get more enjoyment out of their days.

To learn more about sundowning signs and symptoms and how memory care can help, contact us at 409.407.7636.

What Is Sundowning?

Sundowning is a condition that often coincides with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is characterized by worsening behavior in the evening, which can cause confusion and agitation in your loved one. It is not fully understood why some seniors experience sundowning sickness; however, several contributing factors may put someone at risk for developing this condition:

  • A change in routine
  • A sudden change in their environment
  • Medications

Most seniors with memory disorders thrive on routines in a calm environment. When this routine is disrupted, it can create excess stress that may contribute to sundowning.

Common Sundowning Signs and Symptoms

The term sundowning refers to agitation and confusion in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s, which tends to happen more in the evening. Some common signs of senior sundowning are:

  • Delusions – The person may have false beliefs that persist despite being shown evidence to prove otherwise.
  • Hallucinations – The person may have sensory experiences that are not actually occurring, such as seeing or hearing things that are not there.
  • Delirium – This refers to disorientation, fluctuating attention span, muddled thinking, excessive drowsiness, and confusion.
  • Aggression – Some seniors may become agitated or violent when dementia or Alzheimer’s symptoms get worse.

Witnessing these sundowning symptoms in a beloved senior can be upsetting. You may also be unsure how to handle it without exacerbating the situation and making them even more agitated.

How to Handle Sundown Dementia Symptoms

Here are some tips that can help you handle sundowning symptoms in seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s:

  1. Keep them occupied during the day with activities they enjoy and find calming.
  2. Create a calm evening routine that helps them relax, such as listening to soothing music or taking a bath.
  3. Maintain consistency and avoid sudden changes in their environment, which can trigger agitation.
  4. Keep a night light on in their room to help with any confusion they may experience if they wake up during the night.
  5. Consult with their doctor about any medication changes that could be contributing to sundowning symptoms.

It is also essential to remember that every senior is unique and may require different approaches when it comes to managing sundowning sickness. The best way to help someone with sundowning is by providing them with a supportive and understanding environment, which includes quality memory care services.

Over time, you will start to see a pattern in your loved one’s sundowning episodes so that you can anticipate when they will occur and what tends to trigger them. This can help you develop a routine that calms them and minimizes symptoms.

Contact Calder Woods for Memory Care

At Buckner Retirement Services, we understand that caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be challenging. That’s why our trained professionals are dedicated to providing personalized care and support for seniors with memory disorders. We offer a range of activities and services to help residents manage sundowning symptoms and maintain a high quality of life.

With the help of memory care Calder Woods, you do not have to manage this alone. Our professionals are trained to help seniors in our memory care facility manage sundowning symptoms and keep them feeling calmer and happier. Contact Calder Woods online, or call us at 409.407.7636 to learn how we support our residents in memory care and help them enjoy a better quality of senior living.