7 Ways to Minimize Sundowning in Alzheimer’s Patients

"Sundowning" is the term used to describe the changes people with dementia and Alzheimer's disease can often experience in the late afternoon/early evening. It seems that the changing of light brings on various symptoms such as mood changes, confusion, irritability, pacing, fear, and agitation. There are ways that you can minimize the effects of sundowning and based on information from healthline.com we've come up with a list of tips which may reduce the chance of it occurring. Routine Keeping to the same routine will help to minimize any confusion and stress for the Alzheimer's patient. If you need to make changes, make them gradually over a period of time so you don't unsettle the patient. If you need to make appointments or want to plan social events or visits, try to make these in the morning when the patient is more likely to be receptive. Change the Lighting It's thought that changing shadows may bring about stress, confusion and can frighten people with dementia and Alzheimer's so as the sun begins to set, ensure the room they are in is brightly lit. Consider Light Therapy Some studies have found that Alzheimer's patients may benefit from light therapy—where they sit in front of a full-spectrum fluorescent light for a couple of hours each day. This is supposed to improve mood and help avoid depression. Find out more about sundowning and how it affects dementia and Alzheimer's patients.  Keep Active Try to keep the Alzheimer's patient as active as possible. Try gentle walks in the morning and then keep them alert during the afternoons with a game or other activity which may help keep them focused. Try not to let them nap for too long during the day as this will interfere with their nighttime sleep and could lead to fatigue, whic
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