How To Fight Night Anxiety (Sundowning)

Many elderly people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease will experience Sundown Syndrome. This is a neurological phenomenon in which sufferers feel restlessness and increased confusion on an evening. From these symptoms, a number of dangers could arise without the supervision and services of a caregiver. Here, we will take a look at Sundown Syndrome in a little more detail and explain how a caregiver can help.

Sundowning In More Detail

Sundown Syndrome is often shortened to “sundowning” in reference to the time of day that it occurs. The types of symptoms that may be experienced include: confusion, mood swings, agitation, physical and mental fatigue, increased tremors, pacing, yelling and sufferers could have trouble sleeping. Some theories suggest that sundowning may occur due to a lack of melatonin production. However, the exact cause remains unproven.

What Are The Dangers Of Sundowning?

Sundowning presents many difficulties for sufferers, which can materialize into potential dangers. If a sufferer is becoming restless and starts pacing while confused and fatigued, they could easily trip over and hurt themselves. Similarly, they could start wandering outdoors late at night and put themselves in dangerous situations. They may walk into a dangerous neighborhood or not check for cars when crossing the road.

Mental fatigue may also reduce their ability to make decisions and could compromise their safety when surrounded by electrical or gas appliances. Forgetting to switch appliances off, using them incorrectly or being unable to operate them properly due to uncontrollable tremors may cause a significant fire and safety risk.

How A Caregiver Can Help

Although caregivers may not be able to eradicate sundowning from a sufferer’s life, they can eradicate any potential dangers that sundowning exposes them to. Homelife offers assisted living in Groton, CT, and can offer services to combat sundowning dangers. These practices and services include:

  • Caregivers can encourage a set sleeping schedule to reduce agitation and confusion
  • Caregivers can prevent the risk of falls, wandering outdoors at night or poor decision making that could have life-threatening consequences
  • Caregivers can check to see if the sufferer is napping too much during the day which results in less achievable sleep on an evening
  • Caregivers can encourage more daily activities to promote a need for sleep on an evening
  • Caregivers can monitor the individual’s caffeine intake later in the day

The Benefits Of Treating Sundowning

Homelife in CT and RI can offer these services and practices which have a number of benefits. The overall benefit of implementing the above techniques to reduce the dangers of sundowning center around the person’s wellbeing. A caregiver’s service can be lifesaving and prevent sufferers of sundowning from incurring minor or significant injuries. They also allow the sufferer to experience a better quality of life where they can feel more relaxed each evening rather than frequently becoming agitated and confused.

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