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25 Sep 2018



Topics: Senior Health, Alzheimers, Dementia

Those who are living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia may experience a neurological phenomenon condition known as Sundown Syndrome.

Also known as late-day disarray or sundownin refers to changes in one’s behaviour typically during sundown over the course of a day, as fading light seems to be the initial trigger.

Some symptoms can include but are not limited to:





If you have a loved one who has dementia, and with the change is season and less sunlight fast approaching, it’s possible to see some symptoms arise.

Should your loved one seem to have certain changes occurring and to ensure they’re managed effectively, refer to these tips below to help:


Make changes to their eating patterns

It’s essential to adjust your loved ones eating habits to help reduce possible symptoms.

Eating big meals can increase their fear and may keep them awake at night, particularly if the food they ate consists of a lot of caffeine and alcohol.

Reduce the food they take in the evening to a light meal or snacks; these may help them to be more at home and enable them to rest well at night.


Limit their stress

Try your best to keep your loved one calm in the evenings.  Help them to do primary activities that are not hard or can provide a sense of fearfulness.

If their dementia is in the middle stages, you can cool them down by helping them watch television or going over a book they’ve previously read for example

Should you find that too much to handle, you can play cool, serene and soft music to enable a calm environment instead. You can also use this moment to have some time with a family pet, should you have one.


Keep them active

Many who’ve gone through sundowning have trouble sleeping at the end of the day because fatigue can be one of the symptoms.

You should try to keep them active for most of the day as too much sleep in the daytime will reduce the number of hours they can sleep at night.

To help at night, try going out for a daytime walk or dance with them to any music you believe is their favorite.

This will serve as a way of not only exercising their body, helping to reduce possible symptoms, it will also promote better and a more enjoyable sleep at night.


Stick to a timetable

Dementia is a disease that makes it very difficult to develop and follow new routines.

Your loved one might not be quite disposed to the idea of changing how/what they’re accustomed and could lead to increased stress, agitation, confusion or anger. These feelings may be a significant factor to increase their sundowning symptoms.

It is advisable to keep the same processes daily to help your loved ones feel more serene, secure and calm.

Should you have to make any changes, try to adjust the process gradually to ensure a seamless transition.


Try acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment used to treat a wide range of health complications. It has been established that it is instrumental in treating depression, anxiety, and other related diseases.

It’s always started with a brief massage to calm the body, and then the standard treatment is administered while the body is in a state of tranquility (harmony).

However, to make use of this treatment make sure to speak with your family Doctor first.

Managing sundown syndrome for your loved one takes care, creativity, and making it a priority to be observant to different behaviours.

It's essential for you to try distinct ways in your approaches.

Some maybe productive while some may not, however, a little measure of success may have a significant impact in reducing your loved one’s agitations, anxieties, and other sundowning symptoms.