Tips in Managing Sundowning


You may have heard your doctor discuss the possibility of your senior parents to experience sundowning as a result of their dementia. The explanation may seem obscure to you during the visit, and so you might ask what sundowning really is? Well, the term sundowning is also known as late-day confusion wherein seniors seem disheveled during the late afternoon up to the night. Whenever sundowning happens to your senior parents, you can expect them to be aggressive, anxious, and confused. In fact, they may wander aimlessly around the house and will just ignore the commands you give them.

It should be noted that sundowning is not a disease, but is a symptom which usually affects those who have dementia. Check out these steps from NonaCare, LLC so you can help minimize the risk your senior parents will face whenever they experience sundowning:

  • Give them activities to do during the day.

    Most seniors who are experiencing sundowning are actually having troubles sleeping during the night. This will result in feelings of fatigue the following day which can trigger sundowning to happen to them. This can happen in a vicious cycle. That is why you need to assist them by keeping them active during the day so they can expend all their energy and easily become sleepy at bed time. This will allow your loved ones to get quality sleep and enjoy improved physical health. Health Care in Massachusetts can help you in structuring the activities your loved ones can do throughout the day.

  • Check their eating habits.

    Did you know that giving your loved ones large meals for supper will keep them active during the night? Also, late night consumption of alcohol, as well as caffeine, may keep them agitated and then trigger sundowning episodes. Provide them with meals which are light and hearty so that it’s easier for them to digest what they’ve eaten during the night and it will allow them to sleep comfortably.

  • Provide comfortable environment.

    People with dementia often view the world around them as agitating. In fact, there are those who see their immediate environment as being anxiety provoking. It is in this aspect that you need to assist your loved ones to have a home that is comforting and familiar for them to live. Just by having their favorite photo or cherished pillow or anything that’s with sentimental value will help them feel good about their immediate surroundings. It will decrease their chances of experiencing sundowning.

  • Know what triggers.

    Each sufferer of dementia is unique. It is in this regard that you need to be privy about the things that could potentially trigger the sundowning episode. You can write down the activities that your loved ones had the entire day and record such in the entire week. Check what seems to be the causative factor that exacerbates their late-day confusion.

When your loved ones are experiencing sundowning, they are at risk of dangers because they don’t have a good grasp of what’s going around them. They could wander aimlessly outside of the neighborhood and could meet accidents when left unsupervised. In this regard, you might want to consider Home Care Services Massachusetts to assist you in supervising the activities of your loved ones so they are never put in harm’s way.


Blogs, content and other media uploaded online are for informational purposes only. Contents on this website should not be considered medical advice. Readers are strongly encouraged to visit their physician for health-related issues.

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