Sundowning impacts approximately 20% of those who are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Considered one of the top sleep disturbances that can develop in Alzheimer’s disease, sundowning is a condition characterized by anxiety, confusion, and restlessness that sets in as the day comes to a close. This can result in your parent being upset, and even frightened, and can increase the instance of negative behaviors. Though scientists don’t fully understand why Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia contribute so extensively to sleep disruptions, there are indications of what factors may lead to sundowning. By understanding these, you can better adjust your care routine for your parent to reduce their symptoms and keep them safer, and healthier.
Some factors that may cause sundowning in your aging parents include:
- Feeling physically exhausted at the end of the day.
- Feeling mentally exhausted or over-stimulated at the end of the day.
- Disruptions to the sleep-wake cycle within the body that can lead to confusion about night versus day.
- Changes in the appearance of surroundings caused by lighting and shadows that can confuse and frighten your parent.
- Reacting to a change in mood among caregivers who are tired and frustrated at the end of the day.
- Disorientation caused by comparing reality to dreams.
- Needing less sleep, which is very common among aging adults.
- Boredom caused by not having enough mental or physical stimulation during the day.
- Nervousness or anxiety caused by not knowing where loved ones are in the evening. This is common among those who believe their children are still young, or sometimes look for a partner who is deceased.
If your aging parents is living with Alzheimer’s disease, their challenges and needs have increased, or you feel you are no longer capable of meeting their needs in the best way, now may be the ideal time for you to start home care. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your aging parent on the customized schedule that is right for them. For a senior living with sundowners, this might mean having the care provider with them during the evening hours as they are preparing for bed, and even throughout the night to provide further support and assistance. Depending on the amount of care you give them, your aging parent might benefit from having more than one care provider. This can allow one provider to be with them during day hours, and another to be with them during the night to keep them safe at all times.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Edison, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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