Our Senior Care Blog

How Alzheimer’s In-Home Care from Visiting Angels Helps Seniors in Annapolis, MD and Surrounding Areas Manage Sundowner’s Syndrome

Our Alzheimer’s in-home care services help seniors in Annapolis, Millersville, Pasadena, Arnold, Glen Burnie and surrounding areas in Anne Arundel County, MD manage symptoms of Sundowner’s Syndrome, a common issue among those living with Alzheimer’s disease

Living with Alzheimer’s disease can be a challenge for the entire family. According to Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and is usually characterized by symptoms such as memory loss, confusion and disorientation and difficulty communicating, reasoning, and handling complex tasks.

Alzheimer’s can also cause different symptoms at different times of the day. Sundowner’s Syndrome, which occurs in the evening, can be very difficult to manage. Visiting Angels Annapolis can help. We provide Alzheimer’s in-home care which includes behavior modification to help manage Sundowner’s Syndrome.

What is Sundowner’s Syndrome?

Sundowner’s syndrome is also known as sundown syndrome or sundowning. It is a change in behavior, temperament or personality that occurs in the late afternoon or early evening. According to WebMD, one out of five people with Alzheimer’s disease suffers from sundown syndrome.

Doctors are unsure what causes sundowning behavior. They suspect it could be caused by sensory stimulation overload, a hormone imbalance which affects the sleep-wake cycle, anxiety or fatigue.

If your loved one is sundowning, they may experience:

  • Anger
  • Agitation, restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Stubbornness
  • Rocking
  • Delusions, hallucinations
  • Hiding things
  • Paranoia
  • Violence
  • Insomnia
  • Yelling, screaming or crying
  • Shadowing
  • Wandering or pacing

These behaviors can become progressively worse and range from a short time to the entire night.

How Can Visiting Angels Annapolis Help My Loved One?

As a provider of professional Alzheimer’s in-home care, Visiting Angels Annapolis has the resources needed to manage symptoms of Sundowner’s Syndrome. Our caregivers understand that flexibility and empathy are essential to helping seniors feel at ease.

We can help your loved one stay calm in so many ways, including:

  • Noticing triggers. What events or activities cause their behavior to change? Does the evening news agitate your loved one? Is the late afternoon busy with activity in your home? Interruptions to the daily routine and nutrition can cause poor behavior. Our caregivers can help your loved one stick to routines and limit their caffeine, sugar and alcohol intake by planning and preparing healthy meals.
  • Using distractions. We can add activities, music or television to your loved one’s evening routine to calm sooth your loved one. Diverting their attention from troubling thoughts and comforting them with the familiar things they love can keep them in a good mood.
  • Increasing lighting. In addition to natural light, the use of bright lights in the room will reduce evening shadows and maintain the daytime glow until it is time for bed. Our caregivers can pull back curtains and turn on lights when needed,
  • Darkening their sleep environment. Our caregivers can make sure their bedroom is welcoming and serene. Light-blocking curtains can create a cocoon-like setting that encourages a restful night’s sleep.
  • Consulting their doctor. If we notice that your loved one’s behavioral issues our outbursts are worsening, we will be in contact you and may recommend speaking to their doctor. Some doctors recommend anti-anxiety medication, anti-depressants, or over-the-counter vitamin supplements. Use caution; the doctor should confirm there is no interaction with prescribed medications.

It is important to understand that every senior goes through sundowning episodes different. That’s why at Visiting Angels Annapolis, our Alzheimer’s in-home care services are personalized for every senior in our care. We want to give families peace of mind that their loved ones will receive the care they truly need.

For more information on Alzheimer’s in-home care services from Visiting Angels Annapolis, call our Millersville, MD office at 410-587-2316.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.