Sep 28, 2017 by Gregg Gammello
Alzheimer’s disease is the most widespread type of dementia, characterized by symptoms such as extensive memory loss and behavioral changes. One in every ten seniors in the US has Alzheimer’s, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the country, according to Alzheimer’s Association. Every 66 seconds, someone in America alone develops this cognitive condition that affects not just the person diagnosed but their loved ones too.
To help raise awareness about this debilitating disease and promote World Alzheimer’s Month, Comfort Keepers Alzheimer’s care experts have come up with a few tips on how to deal with Sundown Syndrome, one of the most unusual symptoms of the condition.
Sundown syndrome, also known as sundowning, got its name because its symptoms often occur in the late afternoon or evening. This late-day confusion can be very challenging for a family caregiver to successfully cope with. To reduce the symptoms of this syndrome, it is important to make sure that your loved one gets enough rest throughout both the day and night. This is vital because sundowning is typically the result of physical and mental exhaustion at the end of the day.
The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center reports that 20 percent of older adults with Alzheimer’s disease will develop sundowning as well. Keep in mind, though, that sundown syndrome is characteristic for the middle stages of the disease, with its symptoms reducing or disappearing as the condition progresses. Still, when you notice the signs of sundowning, it may be time to consider professional Alzheimer’s care.
Alzheimer’s care experts agree that inadequate lighting and shadows can maximize confusion for seniors showing the symptoms of sundowning. For this reason, it is important to take some preventative measures. For example, you can enhance lighting in your loved one’s home, especially in those rooms where they spend most of their evenings. Also, make sure to increase safety in their bedroom by keeping it well-lit and free of clutter. Another way to reduce sundowning symptoms is to ensure your loved one maintains a sleep schedule and avoids eating or drinking a few hours before going to bed.
No matter how well informed you are about Alzheimer’s and symptoms such as sundowning, you may find it extremely difficult to take care of your loved one at some point. Professional Alzheimer’s care providers can allow your loved one to remain safely at home, working on their memory and other cognitive changes.
If you are worried about your loved one’s well-being or simply can’t find a healthy balance between caregiving and your job or kids, you should know that you are not alone. Give Comfort Keepers a call today and we can provide you with all the info you need on our Alzheimer’s care programs. We are here for you!