Follow
Share

Can anyone give me any ideas on this terrible thing that happens around 5 in the afternoon. Any suggestions?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Does anyone else have a loved one with dementia who eats "dinner" two to three times every day. My Mom forgets she has eaten and then says she hasn't eaten anything all day.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My father, 80, went from living independently to suddenly incapacitated. He has been living with us for two weeks. I am sure he has sundowners and he also has REM Sleep Disorder. I have gotten a lot of great ideas on this forum. I see that everyone says not to argue with them during the sundowning episodes. I really don't know what to do. He goes to bed and then, 5 to 10 minutes later, he is up and getting dressed. Five minutes later, he wants to go to bed. We do this over and over and over for about 7 hours every night. I remain calm, but with each cycle he becomes more agitated and demands to "go home". I tell him that he is home and that this is his bedroom, etc. He becomes very angry and paranoid. He thinks I am holding him hostage because he can't leave. What can I do differently when he keeps saying he is leaving and tries to leave? I've tried distraction, snacks, meds, etc. I am increasingly concerned he might become physically aggressive towards me. He was on .5 mg of Lorazepam and that worked for 2 years. Recently we tried hydroxyzine and Remeron, but both made his hallucinations worse. Tonight the doc had me go back to Lorazepam and up it to 1 mg and we are still up. Tomorrow I am to give him 1.5 mg. He is getting up as much as before, but he is much dizzier and could fall very easily. I am also looking for a doctor for him in the Lexington, KY area if anyone happens to know one they would recommend.

HELP
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Wow...funny how I read this article right after one of my mom's episodes. "Nobody here loves me!" It's a strange thing this dementia. Because 3 months ago my mom was living on her own in an apartment independantly. Now she is here with me in my home with 24 hour care. I've since learned a lot about dementia and some things I wished we would never go through. But I know now that this is not my mom talking. She gets to feeling sorry for herself right around 5pm. I tell her I love her and then I distract her with something she enjoys. Today it was cheetos. I love you mom ..do you want any cheetos? It worked..along with the 5 mg of lorazepam.
Don't take things to personal. It's frustrating and confusing at times. But the dementia is taking control and thats all. Sometimes just walk away..and let them be for awhile.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I found music calmed my husband when he began sundowning. I would sometimes sit and pat his hand and just be there beside him for awhile and it would often help. I always went along with whatever thing he thought he saw, such as a nonexistent dog in the yard. God Bless and remember the Lord walks with you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

We always have any erly dinner and climb into bed by 8PM and sunggle with out 6 plus pillows and talk and stroke each other. He sometime is asleepwithin an hours and is much better the next AM. The moer sleep the better he seems to be. Sometimes we get real casual and picnic in bed and then move on. Whatever makes him comfortable. Problems almost always occcur if he's not in bed by 9:30. I love the cuddling too!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

my DW becomes like an over caffeinated road runner in the late afternoon rummaging incessantly, dressing undressing, unable to sit still. Our PCP has prescribed generic Adtivan - Lorazepam and has give me a great deal of leeway to titrate the dose 0.5mg -2mg to deal with the symptoms which vary in intensity. It has been very effective for the 9 mos. she,s been on it. I give her the initial dose in the early afternoon
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My late husband began sundowning towards the end of his life. I called the Alzheimer's 800 number for suggestions. They said to provide a snack and get him involved in older TV programs and movies-quiet and nostalgic ones. To just put in a tape and, if necessary, sit and watch it with him instead of rushing about and taking care of dinner or the dogs as my usual routine would go. I had to change and slow down and just "be" with him. I took up crocheting-which fascinated him to no end-and a nap is terrific as well. So our afternoons went something like this: he took a nap from about 2 or 3 PM until around 4 or 5 PM when he would start getting fidgety. I gave him a snack with carbs and sugar that was easy to eat and he enjoyed it-usually pudding or an egg custard like his mom used to make. comfort food. I would have had dinner premade and ready to microwave. I did not walk the dogs, but did have their dinner fixed and ready to put down for them. I gave him a small task to do. one which he was capable of following the snack and the movie. Mostly it was to put utensils on the table or put the dog food down for the dogs. He loved feeding the dogs! and they gave him so much love right back that it diffused the situation. And try to stay calm at all costs. Keep the atmosphere as soothing as possible-try diffusing lavender oil into the air or some other soothing scent.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Great suggestions here. We went through it for a year. Please know you cannot reason with them when they are in this state of mind. My mom pulled on the chained doors and yelled at me like a person I never knew. She stormed into the bedroom and opened the window! Just lock everything and let the episode take it's course, moms always ended with her too tired of the agitation and sat and napped in a chair for like 10 minutes. She was then a TOTALLY different person. God luck, it does end so hang in there.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Ask your doctor. We've found that Haldol (a very strong anti-psychotic drug) was needed for my husband. Otherwise he gets very agitated and had even tried to hit people. Then,the next day he is so remorseful that he cries all day.
Isn't this a dreadful disease!!! Sending you a big fat hug. Chonie
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Oh boy have I been down that road. Anticipating when the sun goes down and how was I going to handle the mood. It was hell and sad to deal with and some how me being and advocate for mom with her meds seemed to help for now. I have always been cautious of meds and all the side effects and thought oh mom does not need those kind of pills. Long story short my sister and I agreed to try a new pill called Remeron and two of them twice a day on top of her prozac she was taking for depression. I though mom would never move or get out of bed. Well this medicine was a miracle and sundown syndrom is completely gone. Amazing. Took my sister and I about a year to get moms meds right and at first guilt was bad but seeing the great change has been just wow. Now as she is getting slower and older we are slowly taking her off prozac that she has been on for 10 yrs. I live with her so I can see any changes if we need to put her back on it. I have to say the best thing my sister and I ever did was accept some of the dr's ideas with meds and communicated with him and finally got her in a good place. The dr even prescribed morphine and we were just like no way would we give that to her. Well we did and it sure did help as needed. Read alot about meds and give them time to help. Best thing we ever did was that Remeron it took sundown away completely for now haha and also brought my mom back. Before Remeron she was trying to get out of the house just coo coo and sundown that kept coming earlier and earlier in the day. Life if good for now as can be. I wish you all the best with sundown. It's a weird thing to watch. I have to say mom was in a NH at one point from hip surgery and they had her on 15 meds. I researched everyone of those and tried to get her off most of them but the I found out that most NH do this for their peacefulness I guess you would say. I hated that place but now that I have experience a year of caregiving at home with mom I understand more now why so many meds. But being at home we are not on all of those. Good luck to you all. God Bless and always no we can only do the best we can.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Agree that lighting and napping help. My mom doesn't like to nap so sometimes I have to lie down too just so she will. Another thing that works most of the time is to refocus them. Get them engaged in an activity that draws their attention away from the things that sun-downers brings out. Dust mopping or dusting furniture, sometimes just sitting down with them and engaging in conversation where they have to help you with a problem you have (wink wink). I've been known to sit and listen to my mom chatter on for over an hour about things that aren't really happening but if I can say things like "How did you handle that" or "that must have been challenging, what you you do if it happens again", it really refocuses her and she bounces out of it more often than not.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Our experience with Sundowners started with a stroke. There was no sign of it before. Anyone know if this will ever go away? It seems to last about an hour.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You can purchase light bulbs at lowes tat produce natural light also since winter is approaching and a walk outside may not be an option. The nap after lunch is also a good suggestion.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My father was extremely independent, and until the later stages of dementia, we found that taking a nice drive - maybe driving by places familiar to his childhood - helped calm him and ground him. And then also, like articles suggest, we would look back thru photo albums that would catch him (not that he totally could take it all in) to present day. One evening, my mom was showing him the photos of all the grandchildren and the get-togethers, and my dad said to her " This is the life always wanted to have".

Later, he got very testy, especially paranoid about his car and finances, and his doctor gave us a medication that helped for about 3-6 months until he had a heart attack and was gone.

There are so many of us out here who know the struggles and the overwhelming challenges of just making to the next morning, until it starts again. But they took care of us, so we continue. We kept changing up with different tactics, would even tag-team to distract and divert attention to something else - neutral.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You might try this---a walk in natural lighting in the late afternoon.

I like Oncehated's suggestion of a nap. Perhaps a routine of lunch, nap, little snack, walk in natural lighting, followed by calming activity, will keep the sundowining under control.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Keep her or he medicated .
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My MIL used to sundown quite a bit. Hallucinations, confusion, pretty much everything intensified. Her current NH worked hard to get her in the habit of napping after lunch. They said afternoon napping would make quite a difference and it did. You can tell when she hasn't napped. Now getting the habit established was the tricky part, she was quite resistant for months. Now she is unhappy when she is disturbed during her naptime.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you for your question alice1961,

You'll probably get some more responses from fellow caregivers very soon.

In the meantime, here's an article that may help you deal with your loved one who is sundowning:

Sundowners Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
https://www.agingcare.com/133187

(the second page offers a few tips for preventing/coping with the behaviors of sundowning)

--Anne-Marie, AgingCare.com
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Alice , you will probaly get many suggestion on this issue.... but a little more infomation would be helpful as well. Like what stage of Alz is your mom in.. what types of things is she doing, so before I go into things that may not help, please give us a little more info.... thanks, we'll sure help if we can.....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.