As the days become shorter and the darker winter season approaches, you may notice your loved one exhibiting strange behaviors later in the day. They may pace their room back and forth, speak to somebody who is not present or simply become more agitated and argumentative. While some of these actions may seem normal for aging individuals, they can be an indicator of something more serious.
An estimated 12 to 25 percent of dementia sufferers experience sundowner’s syndrome as a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease and the right memory care can help make life easier for both the senior and their loved ones. It is important to make note of these behaviors as they begin to happen to ensure your loved one receives the care that they deserve.
What is Sundowner’s Syndrome?
As the name suggests, somebody experiencing sundowner’s syndrome experiences bouts of confusion or anger as the sun sets. Though sundowner’s syndrome can be a sign of Alzheimer’s Disease, somebody experiencing its behaviors may or may not show signs of memory loss, making it especially confusing for family members. It is thought that the low light of evening hours cause heightened frustration for seniors who may already be experiencing deteriorating vision and hearing. Additionally, the body’s own hormonal regulatory activity can trigger symptoms later in the daytime.
Managing Sundowner’s Syndrome with a Memory Care Facility
Dementia care facilities like Poet’s Walk offer supportive 24-hour care for seniors who are struggling with Alzheimer’s disease or the loss of normal cognitive functioning. It is our family-like approach to care and our loving environment that sets us apart from other senior care facilities.
In addition to providing seniors with general care and attention, our staff can help manage the behaviors of sundowner’s syndrome with services such as:
- Regulating evening activities to help keep symptoms from occurring
- Ensuring that the environment is calm and quiet as the evening approach
- Managing diet and limiting symptom-inducing food and beverages
- Using therapy techniques, such as light therapy, to help ease symptoms
Our C.A.R.E. program ensures that everyone involved in the care of our residents works together to provide a fulfilling lifestyle. With programs like our Care Flowers, where we identify and address the different stages of Alzheimer’s as flower types rather than phases, and a variety of Signature Programs designed to improve mental well-being, family members know that their loved one is receiving the best care possible.
Our goal is to transform this difficult time into one of hope and peace. Contact us here or call us at 856-874-7700 and we can help you determine the best treatment options for your loved one.