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In Home Dementia Care Tips for Coping with Sundown Syndrome

Sep 22, 2017 by Michael Grim

Do you have a senior loved one struggling with Alzheimer’s disease? In honor of World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this September, Comfort Keepers is proud to bring you some tips on dealing with one of the most common problems associated with this disease.


Sundown syndrome, also known as sundowning, is a symptom of Alzheimer’s that occurs in the middle stages of the disease. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are degenerative diseases. As a memory illness progresses and a senior’s memory fades, the symptoms they present change. The sleep disruption, confusion, and behavioral changes that come with sundowning can be overwhelming for family caregivers. In home dementia care can help family members who are having a difficult time taking care of a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s. Below are some tips for coping with sundown syndrome and other common Alzheimer’s symptoms:


Manage Triggers to Create a Safe Environment

Poor lighting and shadows often increase confusion and anxiety with seniors experiencing sundowning. Keep the home well-lit in the evenings to help your loved one recognize their surroundings and that they are safe. Since exhaustion contributes to Alzheimer’s symptoms, make a comfortable and safe sleep environment. Sticking to a sleep schedule and avoiding mental stimulants like caffeine, sugar, or watching television before bed are also helpful. In home dementia care can be very helpful for both seniors with Alzheimer’s and the family members that are trying to care for them at home.

Recognize the Signs

Sundown syndrome, or sundowning, received its name because it’s symptoms typically occur in the late afternoon or evening. Alzheimer’s symptoms such as confusion are exacerbated by the end-of-day physical and mental exhaustion. According to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center, as many as 20% of seniors with Alzheimer’s will experience increased anxiety, confusion, and agitation late in the day. Being able to recognize sundowning and other Alzheimer’s symptoms is the first step in providing proper dementia care.

Know When to Look For Help

Even when you are able to identify Alzheimer’s symptoms and the negative effects of things like sundowning, there may come a time where professional help becomes necessary. Professional caregivers and senior living facilities specially trained in memory care may be better suited to care for your loved one. What is most important to know when coping with memory illnesses is that you are never alone.


If you are struggling to care for a senior loved one in Cherry Hill, NJ that has Alzheimer’s, contact us or call (856) 244-7549 to speak with one of our in home dementia care specialists today. Learn more about in home care services that are available and schedule a free in-home consultation.


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