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My mom's "sundowning" has changed dramatically. When this whole thing started, she was at least sleeping when she should have, but now she can't determine night or day. She lives alone (I am working on getting her into a memory care unit) and her doctor doesn't want to give her anything else for sleep other than what she already takes, because she feels that Mom could fall, etc. My mom used to call me a couple or 3 times a day, but now that she has no sense of time, she will call me in the middle of the night, scaring me to death!
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For my Dad, it didn't matter what time of day. What would "set him off" would be stress. If there was more than one visiting nurse, therapist, etc in that day...by the time the second one was getting ready to leave my Dad would be nearly volcanic...the "blow" happening sometimes even before they had a chance to get out the door. And, oh wow the display would be loud and nasty. God forbit there be a third one that day too.

Yes, it got worse. Over the course of his last year he rarely made it past noon before everything was in total upheaval
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Dear Grammyteacher, Thank you for your advice. He is fighting everything that I try to do for him. His Dr. wants him to see a gerontologist but he refuses. I dont know what to do for him.
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If he is up all night, I would have a chat with him doctor. Does he sees neurologist or a geriatric psychiatrist? When my mom first started staying up all night, the neurologist gave her Seroquel. For my mom that worked. I think it is different for each person. Share the behaviors with the doctor and see if he/she can help.
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Thank you all for your answers. I didn't realize that he needs to be distracted in the early evening. He gets much worse about midnight when I ty to go to bed. I don't know what causes that. Thanks again.
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When Mom would exhibit sundowners when she was living with me, I would take her for a short 20 minute stroll around the block, what has helped her tremendously with the sundowning is that she is now in a memory care home, and they have the same routine every evening. I think that same routine really helps. At my house, we had different things going on all the time, kids coming and going, husband coming and going etc.
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Sundowners is one manifestation of dementia. Dementia definitely progresses. As Grammyteacher says, as the dementia gets worse, many of the symptoms and behaviors change.
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What do you mean by "progress"? My mom is in stage 7 Alzheimer's and we have dealt with sundowners. I found that it was important to reduce simulation in the environment that made it worse. We made sure to reduce shadows and reflections. Use heavy curtains, cover reflective surfaces like mirrors and large pictures. My mom had display cases with reflective backs. We had to use caution when choosing TV shows. Too much noice and activity made it tough too. We had to be sure to keep her safe...make sure to watch her and not let her get in dangerous situations or fall and get hurt. But we also had to allow her to pace etc. As an outlet for the energy. We made she didn't wander...she had a pool in the back yard and lived outside of the city in a desert area.

As her Alzheimer's progressed, the behaviors changed. At the present time she can't wander, she can no longer walk. These days she gets a bit agitated between 1-4 p.m. I think this is her "sundowners" time now. So yes, I guess it does progress in a way... At least the behavior associated with it change. I hope this helps.
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