Our Senior Care Blog

How Our In-Home Care Agency Can Help Seniors in Eldersburg, MD and Surrounding Areas Manage Sundowner’s Syndrome

Here’s how our in-home care agency helps seniors living with Alzheimer’s in Eldersburg, Westminster, Baltimore, Columbia, Ellicott City and Nearby Areas in Maryland manage sundowning episodes at home

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

Seniors living with Alzheimer’s can present different symptoms at different times of the day. Sundowner’s Syndrome, which occurs in the evening, can be very difficult to manage. Visiting Angels Eldersburg can help. Our in-home care agency provides Alzheimer’s care which includes behavior modification to help manage sundown 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 Sundowner’s Syndrome.

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

If your loved one has Sundowner’s Syndrome, they may have these symptoms during a sundowning episode:

  • 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 A Professional In-Home Care Agency Help My Loved One?

As one of the leading Alzheimer’s care providers in Carroll, Howard and Baltimore Counties, Visiting Angels Eldersburg can help your loved one manage sundowning episodes. Our caregivers understand that flexibility and empathy are essential to helping seniors with Alzheimer’s feel at ease.

We can help your loved one by:

  • 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 how much caffeine, sugar and alcohol they consume by preparing healthy meals and snacks.
  • Using distractions. We can add activities, music or television to your loved one’s end of the day routine to calm soothe them. Diverting their attention from troubling thoughts and comforting them with the familiar things they love can reduce the likelihood of a sundowning episode.
  • 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 open curtains to let natural light in 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 our caregivers believe your loved one’s symptoms are worsening, we will alert 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.

Our in-home care agency understands that every senior deals with sundowning episodes differently. That’s why our care plans are personalized for each and every client. When you choose Visiting Angels Eldersburg for Alzheimer’s care, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your loved one will receive the support they truly need.

For more information on Sundowner’s Syndrome and how our in-home care agency can help, call our Eldersburg, MD office at 410-324-6347.

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.