Sundowning is a symptom of neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia. Not everyone who has dementia will experience this issue. However, if your elderly loved one does have sundowning, there are some tips that can help lessen their symptoms. Knowing how to lessen the side effects of sundowning can help you better care for your senior, and to know when it’s time to enlist the help of companion care at home.
Eating Late – Eat Light
Whether it is dinnertime, or your elderly loved one is having a late-night snack, it is important that they eat light. Sundowning symptoms are generally worse when the patient is eating a heavy or full meal/snack late in the day. It would be best if your elderly loved one could stick to eating a salad, a small sandwich, a wrap, or another little dinner with a small snack. If they can do this, hopefully, it will help to reduce the symptoms of sundowning that occur on that given evening/night.
If your elderly loved one has sundowning, one of the ways that you can lessen their symptoms is to keep them busy. While being too busy during the day can cause high levels of stress and increase the chances of sundowning, keeping busy during the evening/nighttime hours when sundowning is occurring can help to reduce symptoms. With this being said, it is crucial to make sure the tasks or activities that your elderly loved one is doing aren’t too difficult or that could just increase their frustration.
Decluttering the Home
Another way that you can reduce sundowning is to declutter your elderly loved one’s home. If there is a lot of clutter, it could overwhelm your elderly loved one and cause their stress or anxiety to skyrocket. In addition, the more stuff there is in the house, the more shadows there will be. Many people who suffer from sundowning are afraid of shadows. They believe the shadows are someone burglarizing their home. Whenever possible, simplify and declutter the environment. Companion care at home provides specialized care for seniors suffering from dementia and can lend a hand in many ways.
Reading to Them
Does your elderly loved one really like books? Most of the time, stories help people with dementia to get out of their own mind for a bit. In fact, some people with dementia love having stories read to them. It makes them feel as if they are in the story. If you think this is something that your elderly loved one would enjoy, companion care at home providers can read to them during the evening or at night when they are feeling overwhelmed.
These are some of the top tips for lessening symptoms of sundowning. If your elderly loved one is getting agitated, anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed during the evening or nighttime hours, hopefully, these tips will help them to feel better.