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Senior Care Professionals Share Tips for Coping with Sundown Syndrome

Sep 22, 2017 by Marlin Duncan

Are you caring for a senior loved one that has Alzheimer’s disease? In honor of World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this September, Comfort Keepers of Wilkes-Barre, PA is pleased to share senior care tips for dealing with one of the most common problems associated with this disease.


The sleep disruption, confusion, and behavioral changes that come with sundowning can be overwhelming for family caregivers. Senior care specialists can help family members cope with the various symptoms that their loved experiences. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are degenerative diseases. As a memory illness progresses and a senior’s memory fades, the symptoms they present change. Sundown syndrome, also known as sundowning, is a symptom of Alzheimer’s that occurs in the middle stages of the disease. Below are some tips for coping with sundown syndrome and other Alzheimer’s symptoms:

Manage Triggers to Create a Safe Environment

Poor lighting and shadows often increase confusion and anxiety with seniors experiencing sundowning. Keep the home well-lit in the evenings to help your loved one recognize their surroundings and that they are safe. Since exhaustion contributes to Alzheimer’s symptoms, make a comfortable and safe sleep environment. Senior care professionals recommend sticking to a sleep schedule and avoiding mental stimulants like caffeine, sugar, or watching television before bed.

Recognize the Signs

Sundown syndrome, or sundowning, received its name because symptoms typically occur in the late afternoon or evening. Alzheimer’s symptoms such as confusion are exacerbated by the end-of-day physical and mental exhaustion. According to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center, as many as 20% of seniors with Alzheimer’s will experience increased anxiety, confusion, and agitation late in the day. Being able to recognize sundowning and other Alzheimer’s symptoms is the first step in providing proper dementia care.

Know When to Look For Help

Even when you are able to identify Alzheimer’s symptoms and the negative effects of things like sundowning, there may come a time where professional help becomes necessary. Professional caregivers and senior living facilities specially trained in memory care may be better suited to care for your loved one. What is most important to know when coping with memory illnesses is that you are never alone.


If you are having a difficult time caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s don’t hesitate to contact us or call (570) 486-6492 to learn more about senior care services.


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