My wife has Alzheimer’s. Can she be affected by “Sundowning?”
“Sundowning” is the name of condition that results in a person becoming increasingly confused or agitated as the day wears on. While the actual cause of it is unknown, its occurrence can be somewhat predictable once a pattern begins. Fatigue, low lighting and increased shadows — the basis for the sundowning label — are factors known to bring on the condition. As they become more prominent during the day, an individual with Alzheimer’s tends to become more confused. Certain steps can be taken to make things easier on individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. For example, urging your loved one to nap after lunch, or at least have some “quiet time” during his or her daily schedule is a good idea. Relaxation can help a person “recharge” to deal with the rest of the day with less confusion or agitation. Create a good setting to promote relaxation by considering all five senses:
- put on relaxing music,
- get your loved one to a comfortable chair or bed,
- burn incense or a fragrant candle,
- dim the lights,
- turn on something that can create “white noise,” such as a bubbling water or a fan.