Ask The Nurse; What is Sundowner’s Syndrome & how can it be helped?

March 3, 2022

Sundownder’s Syndrome is a very challenging condition that often occurs during the late afternoon or evening for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. 20% of adults with Alzheimer’s experience Sundowners syndrome. It can manifest in many ways such as: anxiety, aggression, paranoia, hallucinations, shouting, inability to follow direction, pacing or wandering.

Some ways to ease or reduce these challenges: Have a predictable daily schedule. Increase the amount of daylight. Limit afternoon naps. Reduce activity including TV at night. Play soothing music. Utilize a nightlight in their room. Avoid restraining or arguing with them. Pacing can help them work off agitation. Offering snacks, beloved object or change in activity. Use a simple safe task like folding laundry. Aroma & touch therapy have also been used.

It is important to know what triggers it as well as to which activities seem to soothe them. It may take several tries before finding what works & it may change from day to day.

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