What is Sun-Downing?
Sundowning is a symptom of many neurological dieses, including Alzheimer’s.
It manifests itself through confusion, restlessness, increase fear and hallucination.
As the caregiver, what should you do when this occur?
Firstly, make patient/client’s safety your priority.
Remove all objects and things that could easily cause harm to him or her out of the way. If they become combative or violent during the episode, you may remove yourself from their presence. Making sure that their environment is safe before you leave.
It makes perfect sense that their environment is well lit, not too dim or too bright.
The temperature of the space should be comfortable, also encourage quietness, turn off TV and radio, various words or sounds may trigger a sad memory.
Keeping a clean, safely well-lit and quiet environment may encourage calm. Remember that every person behaves differently during an episode.
Keep a schedule of what time sundowning occur, as well as the severity of the attack. Make sure that all evening medication is given before, as well as him or her having a satisfying meal, and completed bathroom activities. A great idea is to encourage the patient/client to sit or lay relaxingly.
If the client/patient is comfortable and relaxed, then he or she may fall asleep before or during the episode!
Please bear in mind that in order to monitor the episodes successfully, you must know the clients change in attitude cycle. By doing so you will guide them safely through every episode.