Non-medical home care, also known as in-home care, is a great way to help an elderly person with sundowners syndrome. Sundowners syndrome, or sundowning, for those who have no idea what it is, is a mental or behavioral condition that usually starts from late afternoon and may continue into the night, only to disappear by mid-morning. Some of the symptoms or behavioral changes you might notice in your loved one include confusion, aggression, and anxiety. Sometimes, a person with this condition may wander or pace, and even ignore instructions.
Experts believe sundowning is triggered by fading or diminishing light. Additional suspected triggers include hunger, thirst, boredom, pain, and discomfort. The exact cause or trigger of sundowners syndrome is yet to be identified, but the condition is common in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
According to WebMD, 1 out of 5 Alzheimer’s patients get diagnosed with the condition, but this does not in any way imply that older people who don’t have dementia or Alzheimer’s don’t suffer the condition because they do.
Non-Medical Home Care for the Elderly – Signs and Symptoms of Sundowners Syndrome
Other than what we have seen, other symptoms that come with sundowning include the following:
- Making demands
- Being suspicious
- Mood swings
Non-Medical Home Care for the Elderly – Factors That May Trigger Sundowners Syndrome
In addition to diminishing lighting, the following may trigger the condition. Keep in mind, however, that sundowning can transpire or occur even without these triggers.
- A new environment
- Disruption of the mind/body clock
- Disruption of a regular schedule
Non-Medical Home Care for the Elderly – How to Help an Elderly with Sundowners Syndrome
Seeing your aging parent, or any other loved one for that matter, sundowning is tough –the hallucinations, screaming, confusion, anger, agitation, etc. But this is when they need you more than ever. Here are some helpful things you can do to help your loved one:
- Identify the triggers – the simplest way to identify the triggers is to look for patterns – does your loved one start sundowning as soon as the daylight starts to diminish? Perhaps the symptoms begin to take over with hunger or whenever they are ill or have an infection such as a urinary tract infection? If you can be able to identify a trigger, you will be in a better position to understand how you can help your loved one.
- Help them to stick to a regular schedule – try to maintain a predictable schedule for them i.e., waking up time, mealtime, activity time, bedtime, etc. While at it, try to limit any daytime napping to decrease sleeplessness at night. Limit their sugar and caffeine intake also as this will help with any sleep issues at night.
How Non-Medical In-Home Care Can Help an Elderly with Sundowners Syndrome
f your loved one with sundowners lives alone or spends the better part of the alone, it’s natural if you are worried about them. After all, you don’t want them going through the confusion and anxiety alone. This is where non-medical home care comes in. Through home care, a professional caregiver will stay with your loved one all day and even stay overnight if need be.
At Astin Home Care, we have caregivers who have been trained to offer any kind of assistance or daily care needed by persons with sundowners syndrome. This includes identifying triggers and then doing what needs to be done to limit or completely eliminate the triggers.
In addition to the above, our caregivers will assist your loved one with their daily activities of living which may include assistance with bathing, grooming, toileting, meal preparation, medication reminders, exercise, companionship, etc.
To learn more about how non-medical home care or in-home care for the elderly can help with sundowners syndrome or sundowning, you can reach Astin Home Care through the information provided below. We are here for you and your loved one!