2010 Greenbriar Blvd., Clearwater FL 33763
727-735-6200 - email@example.com
It’s late in the afternoon. You’ve had a long day caring for your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. You’re tired, but you still have to prepare dinner, clean up the kitchen and more. Unfortunately, this is also the time of day your loved seems to exhibit more agitation, restlessness, wandering, aggression or paranoia.
The behavior is called “sundowning,” and it’s common among the majority of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The reasons for sundowning are unclear. It may be related to our circadian rhythms reacting to the loss of daylight. It may be that your loved one is tired after a long day.
Whatever the reason, there are tips to help lessen your loved one’s sundowning behaviors and help reduce your stress.
Turn on Lights. Brighten up your surroundings by turning on lights in the house to simulate the bright light of sunshine.
Exercise. Implementing moderate exercise for your loved one during the day – enough to stimulate, but not physically exhaust – can help your loved one relax at this time of day.
Accept Some Behaviors. If your loved one paces or wanders in late afternoon or early evening, let it be. Just make sure there’s a clear path through the house for safety. You may even join your loved one during this time so he or she is not alone.
Daytime Naps. You may find that your loved one wants to sleep for extended periods of the day. All this rest can exacerbate sundowning. Let your loved one sleep when he or she wants to, but only allow cat naps of about 20 minutes or less in length.
Get Involved. If you’re preparing dinner during sundowning, redirect your loved one’s behavior. Have your loved one help you out in the kitchen doing safe, simple tasks, (placing napkins on the table, washing lettuce, etc). After dinner, have your loved one help dry dishes or put away leftovers.
Establish an Evening Relaxing Routine. After dinner is done, spend time with your loved one relaxing. Listen to favorite music. Watch a movie. Leaf through a magazine, book or family photo album together.
These are but a few tips to help get you started. You may find something that works better for you and your loved one.
If the time comes when you can no longer provide the care your loved one needs at home, there are Memory Care communities that deliver state-of-the-art care for those with Alzheimer’s, complemented by an enriching lifestyle and beautiful surroundings. One such community is Inspirations Memory Care at Inn on the Pond in Clearwater, FL.
Inspirations’ unique memory care programming is the result of best practices and the latest research in Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss, so you have the peace of mind of knowing that your loved one is receiving the latest in care. A program director oversees all programming and maintains regular communication with family members concerning their loved ones’ preferences, participation and overall well-being, so you always know what’s going on.