Taking care of a senior citizen can be a lot of work. You have to watch for all sorts of things such as the risk of falls, medication safety, and many different types of conditions. One of the conditions that not all caregivers know about is sundowning. This is a state when people experience restlessness, irritability, confusion, and agitation. It generally worsens when daylight starts fading. It can continue through the night, as well.
What do seniors do?
Senior citizens may handle sundowning in different ways. They might try to leave the place they are in. This is when you really need to watch out for wandering. They may also start hiding things because they are paranoid that people are taking their things. Sometimes the senior might become violent.
What causes are there for sundowning?
There is not just one exact cause for sundowning which sometimes makes it very difficult to handle. One of the reasons might be because during Alzheimer’s the brain is altered. This changes the senior’s internal clock which can confuse their timing. They may become agitated because they can’t seem to sleep when they should be. Other reasons might include unmet needs, pain, depression, or boredom. With all these causes, it can be tough to find the best solutions.
What treatments are there for sundowning?
There are many different options to treat sundowning. While it will depend on the cause of this condition, you can reduce clutter and noise. You can try to distract the seniors with activities or snacks. Simple tasks are often enough to distract them from their upset feelings. In addition, you can make sure the early-evening hours are calm, quiet, and darker. If it comes down to it and you are tired out, you can always hire a home care provider to assist in the care of the senior.
Can you prevent sundowning?
There are some tips on preventing sundowning. However, this can’t always be done. Some of the things you can try include going outside during the day to reset the senior’s internal clock, have them exercise every day, keeping naps shorter, and don’t let them sleep in too long. You should let them have caffeine too late during the day, have them avoid alcohol, and keep the schedule to a minimum. Filling their day with too many things can be confusing and upset them even more.
Sundowning can be a frustrating condition for everyone involved. Not only is the senior feeling upset, but the caregivers can start feeling pretty down about the situation, as well. If you are a family caregiver and in need of assistance with the senior that you are taking care of, don’t hesitate to hire a home care provider to help you out. You can help to ease the condition in some ways, even if you can’t always seem to prevent it.
If you or someone you know needs a Caregiver in Robertsdale, AL, please contact the friendly caregivers at Hughes Home Care. We provide quality and affordable care for your elderly loved ones in our community. Call Us Today 251-517-9901. Serving Mobile & Baldwin County.
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