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Caregiver Resources | August 12, 2016 | By Jonita Dixon

Coping Tips For Sundowning Behavior

happy-senior-coupleSundowning is a behavior that is related to dementia and refers to someone acting more erratic during the evening and nighttime hours. A few of the symptoms include increase disorientation, confusion, and agitation. While most people without dementia find that their evening can be a great time to relax and wind down after a long day, the evening is often quite different for those who have dementia.

While the behavior itself might not be entirely understood, it is possible to cope with this issue as best as possible with the following tips:

  • Do not try to do everything yourself – too many caregivers run into problems with exhaustion or frustration after a while. Even if you just get away for a day, make sure that you have some time for yourself.
  • Be kind to yourself – Sometimes it can be quite a challenge to deal with someone who is sundowning, especially because you might be feeling exhausted yourself. It is a good idea to distance yourself from the situation for a moment and remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.
  • Share your stories – There are millions of caregivers who have experienced the struggle with sundowning before, make sure that you do not keep your frustration pent up. It can make a difference when you have someone to talk to.
  • Remember not to argue – Remember that someone with dementia is unable to argue the way that we do, so arguing with someone who is sundowning is going to lead to frustration on both sides.
  • Let it go – It is not just a popular Disney song, it is also a mantra for those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Remember that you should not take angry or mean comments to heart, regardless of how much of a challenge this can be.
  • Play music at a soft volume – While the television might lead to increased agitation, a bit of music in the evening might work well for both parties.
  • Enjoy natural light/the outdoors – Especially in the morning or the afternoon. A little sunshine or fresh air can really lift spirits.

You Do Not Need To Do Everything Yourself

It is important to remember that caring for those who are sundowning can be a challenge for trained professionals – let alone for caring individuals who just want to make sure that their parents/loved ones are safe.

This is why many prefer the peace of mind that they get with a professional living facility such as those found at www.carltonseniorliving.com. By making sure your loved one is cared for by professionals, you not only increase their quality of life, but you are also able to increase your peace of mind throughout the day.