Why Sundowning Often Appears With the Autumnal Equinox

The official start of fall, also known as the Autumnal Equinox, falls on September 22nd. Most people look forward to the season change. Cooler weather, fall foliage, and the return of football are all appreciated aspects of fall. Yet, for someone with dementia, sundowning is more likely to appear. Having 24-hour home care services can help you to deal with this symptom of dementia.

24-Hour Home Care Lexington OH - Why Sundowning Often Appears With the Autumnal Equinox

24-Hour Home Care Lexington OH – Why Sundowning Often Appears With the Autumnal Equinox

What is sundowning? It’s a period of confusion that appears in the late afternoon and evening. This confusion leads to agitation, confusion, and anger. After a long day of caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s, the sudden emotional and physical outbursts of sundowning are hard to handle.

It leads you to wonder why sundowning often kicks up as fall arrives? Much of this is related to the sun setting earlier than it was. The sun goes down in the late afternoon. While it was sunny until 8 or 9 p.m., the sky is darkening now at 7 p.m. But, you haven’t been turning on the lights until later. The shadowy rooms can be alarming to someone with dementia.

What Can Trigger Sundowning?

Shadows are one of the reasons sundowning may kick into high gear. Make sure rooms are well-lit and put lights on timers if needed. You want lights to turn on before any shadows start appearing on the walls or floors.

If your mom or dad hasn’t been sleeping well, they could be overly tired. That will impact their mood and make them more likely to lash out in anger or frustration. To help them sleep through the night, avoiding large amounts of water right before bed is best. Don’t let them drink caffeinated beverages a few hours before bed.

Make sure that your parents don’t have an infection. If there’s a UTI, symptoms like anger, confusion, and irritation are common. If you suspect your parents could have UTIs or another ailment, call the doctor to have them checked.

Hire 24-Hour Home Care Aides to Take Over When You’re Tired

Sundowning is a disruptive symptom that people with Alzheimer’s may experience. The fear and agitation can be alarming as you watch your parent go through it. It’s hard on you as you’re already tired, but now your parents are getting wound up.

With 24-hour home care, you have someone helping with the issues that go hand in hand with sundowning. Instead of staying up all night as rooms get shadowy, go to bed and let a caregiver help your mom or dad. If they’re up and trying to go outside, a caregiver can redirect them. Talk to a 24-hour home care agency to learn more about overnight caregivers.

If you are considering 24-Hour Home Care Services in Lexington OH, call the caring staff at Central Star Home Health at (419) 610-2161.  Providing services for families in Mansfield, Lexington, Bellville, Crestline, Galion, Shelby, Ashland, Ontario and the surrounding areas.

Kathy Summers, RN