Thursday, August 2, 2007

Alzheimer's: Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Caregivers of Alzheimer's patients will
deal with a troublesome symptom known
as "sundowning".

This means that in late afternoon and
evening Alzheimer's symptoms become

**Causes of Sundowning**

---end of day exhaustion (both physical, mental & emotional
---"internal body clock" upset
---lighting is reduced
---inability to separate dreams from reality when trying to
sleep leads to disorientation
---less need for sleep

**Things To Do**

---reduce agitation and sleeplessness
---plan more active days if patient is up to it such
as walks, socializing, exercise, etc...
---restrict sweets and caffeine to mornings, early dinner,
light healthy snack before bedtime
---seek medical advice for bladder and incontinence problems
medication for relaxation

**When patient awakens and is agitated**

---approach loved one in quiet, calm manner
---ask what they need
---remind them of time of day
---do not argue or ask for them to explain themselves!!!
---offer reassurance, hugs, love...

Be kind to them and yourself...