My mom (86) has dementia and at sundown, she doesn't know where she is. Anyone heard of this? - AgingCare.com

My mom (86) has dementia and at sundown, she doesn't know where she is. Anyone heard of this?

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Has anyone ever heard of this ? She becomes combative and irritable when we tell her she is in her own house..

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I handle sundowning with scheduling. I turn on lights too early so that the change is gradual. I close curtains around 4 and turn on lights to make it brighter but her body still feels it. Instead what I did was change the routine. Every half hour she does something to break it up and I get her dressed for bed early. That seems to settle her down so she knows she's staying there for the night and has clothes to do so. She seem to sundown cuz she gets nervous about what will happen to her at night .She worries about getting home (even though she is home) and worries about people still being outside but at least with everyone around her dressed for bed it seems to relief some of that tension in her.
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My mom is 88. My dad died last May at 90. My mom has had short term memory but it's dementia. Since dad's death she has declined drastically. After 8 mos I finally got her on Medicaid so she could live at home with aides. She has no health problems. She started the sundowning mos ago. My dad had the same, but he had COPD and congestive heart failure so not the same. But I have found that lorazepam at 3:30 has helped be less anxious and we turn on just about all the lights in the house about 4 to help. My mom uses a walker and needs help with just about everything. She's forgotten how to do simple things: use toilet, change clothes, brush, make coffee, etc.
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My MIL started sundowning earlier this year. She had another stroke in Dec, now the sundowning starts at around 1pm. We just try to keep her happy until bedtime, then every light off when she sleeps. We tried a nightlight but she stayed up all night and that was not fun,lol. so lights on during the day, lights off at night and she is now sleeping thru the night.
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My Father does this and I try to plan an activity that he enjoys right before actual sundown. We have looked through magazines, he sometimes takes a shower then, anything but sitting if possible. His time is usually 7 to 9 pm.
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My son's are 25 & 29. My Mom has 24/7 care from her aides. I thank God everyday for them. I got her into a neurologist tomorrow..I will let you know how things go.. Thanks
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My Dad had moved quickly to Independent Living right after my Mom had passed [Mom had refused to move], as he felt at 94 having a house to maintain was getting too difficult.   Dad did have Caregivers around the clock and he enjoyed having them there but it was becoming very expensive.  Selling his house and using the equity helped pay for his monthly rent.

Months later once my Dad was showing signs of Sundowning, the Staff at the Independent Living suggested it was time to move Dad into Assisted Living Memory Care.   Of course the Memory Care suite was very small compared to his IL apartment.... but the Staff said they noticed the patient felt safer being in a smaller room surrounded by the things they could bring in,  it was like being in a cocoon.
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My mom who has dementia also has sundowners syndrome. Possibly leaving a night light on, a shade or curtain opened slightly might help as the dark and shadows seem to trick her mind. I would also recommend not moving furniture objects around as this might help them with familiarity. Make sure she is safe and she possibly needs someone to keep an eye around the clock so she does not get hurt or wander around. Just some suggestions. Hugs and prayers to you
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A very good, educational read is " Thirty-Six Hour Day". Very informative!
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Make sure that neurologist specializes in treatment of dementia! There are some that do not have a clue on how to treat.
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Kim, how old are your son's? Care your mom needs is going to increase exponentially. Find Alzheimer's caregiver support groups for all of you.
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