If you suspect that your elderly loved one is “sundowning,” or experiencing bouts of anxiety and distress after sundown, it’s important to find ways to soothe his or her distress. At Home Care Assistance, a senior home care provider in Las Vegas, we understand that managing symptoms of Sundowner’s can be stressful for your family. To help you address your loved one’s symptoms, our senior care experts discuss three ways to recognize and help eliminate possible triggers.
1. Track Symptoms
One way that you can manage your loved one’s sundowning symptoms is to begin keeping a record of them. Asking your loved one’s Alzheimer’s or dementia caregiver in Las Vegas to keep notes with these details can help you identify patterns and triggers, and alter your loved one’s routine accordingly. If your loved one’s caregiver notices that your loved one frequently experiences sundowning episodes after eating late in the day, avoiding evening meals may help. Likewise, if your loved one rarely has symptoms on days he or she does certain activities, encourage him or her to integrate that activity in his or her day-to-day life.
2. Maintain a Sleep Schedule
Lack of sleep is a common trigger for Sundowner’s Syndrome, so it is important to insist on a sleep hygiene schedule. Eliminating television, caffeine, and alcohol from your loved one’s afternoon and evening routine, playing soft music right before bed, and having a consistent bedtime can all contribute to healthy sleep hygiene. Providing a safe and familiar sleeping environment can also help your loved one fall asleep faster and ensure he or she will not be disoriented by his or her surroundings in the middle of the night.
3. Plan Calming Activities
Light therapy, aromatherapy, and music can be extremely helpful for Sundowner’s Syndrome, as they can help relax and distract your loved one from the changing light levels and stress of nighttime. Music in particular, especially songs that your loved one finds familiar, can help improve mood and stimulate happy memories. Soothing scents like lavender, chamomile, and other essential oils are also relaxing. Finally, having full-spectrum lights that mimic sunlight in your loved one’s home can help your loved one avoid the distress that dim or dark lighting can bring on.
While Sundowner’s Syndrome can make evening a difficult time of day for your loved one, these tips for creating a routine to manage his or her symptoms may help. With the assistance of a dementia or Alzheimer’s caregiver in Las Vegas, you can rest assured your loved one will receive the assistance necessary to follow his or her new schedule. If you’re interested in learning more about how the caregiving services at Home Care Assistance can help your loved one manage the symptoms of Sundowner’s Syndrome, contact a Care Manager at (702) 550-3185 and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.