One of the aspects of dementia that can be unnerving for both you and your senior is something called sundowning. Sundowning occurs late in the afternoon as the day starts to wind down and it’s a period when your senior may be especially confused or agitated. There may be some things that you as their caregiver can do to help prevent sundowning for your senior.
Daily Exercise Can Help
Talk to your senior’s doctor about exercise and your senior. Her doctor can help you to find the right balance of activity level for her. Daily exercise can help your elderly family member to feel better in general and it can burn off extra energy that doesn’t have anywhere else to go.
Protect Your Senior’s Sleep Hygiene
Short naps can be helpful for your senior, but if they’re too long or happening too late in the day, they can contribute to sundowning confusion. Time any naps properly and make sure that your senior is getting enough sleep at night to help her to feel her best. Exercise can help with sleep issues, too.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol, Especially Later in the Day
Both caffeine and alcohol can be a problem for people with dementia. Caffeine late in the day can mess with your senior’s sleep schedule, which is definitely not good. Your senior may also be more sensitive to caffeine than she has been in the past, which might mean cutting way back. Alcohol can make your senior more confused and even anxious because she doesn’t understand what’s going on. It’s best to avoid it.
Keep a Careful Balance of Activities Each Day
Keeping your senior busy can be great. This helps her brain to stay active and engaged, which is very important. But if she’s too busy every day she can quickly get overwhelmed and overly tired. That can lead to even bigger issues with sundowning.
Sun or Light Exposure Can Help
Being outside in the sun or sitting with a bright like, like the ones used to treat seasonal affective disorder, can help your senior with sundowning issues. Talk to her doctor about how long might be most beneficial for your senior. Remember also to be careful about sun exposure and possible issues like burns.
Getting Help from a Caregiver Service
There might be a little bit of trial and error in figuring out what best helps your senior with sundowning issues. Working with a caregiver may be helpful, both for you and for your senior. They can suggest ideas they’ve seen work with other people.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Caregiver Services in Rohnert Park CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
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