Tips For Helping Seniors Through Sundowning

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia often get more confused and irritable in the late afternoon and evening. This is called “sundowning.” It can be hard to help them through sundowning, but with understanding, patience, and a few practical tips, loved ones, and the in-home care team can make seniors’ surroundings more comfortable and supportive.

Consider the following ways to help seniors through this frustrating time.

In-Home Care Dearborn Heights MI - Tips For Helping Seniors Through Sundowning

In-Home Care Dearborn Heights MI – Tips For Helping Seniors Through Sundowning

Maintain a routine: Stick to the same daily routine to help seniors feel stable and in control. When habits change, it can make confusion and anxiety worse. A consistent routine should include having set times for meals, hobbies, and going to bed. This routine can be monitored with elder care in the home to ensure its effectiveness.

Create a soothing atmosphere: Loved ones and the elder care team can create a calm environment by reducing noise, lights, and other stimuli in the evening. It can also be a good idea to use soft, indirect lighting to eliminate shadows and make the room feel more relaxed. The soothing atmosphere should also transfer to the bedroom or any other rooms they will be in before they head to bed.

Engage in calming activities: Suggest relaxing activities that can help reduce stress and worry. These could include listening to soothing music, doing gentle movements, or doing something they enjoy. If seniors are familiar with yoga, this can also be calming. However, introducing an activity they’ve never tried is not a good idea.

Ensure seniors eat and drink enough: Very few people function well when hungry and thirsty, seniors included. The in-home care team can ensure seniors get what they need, encouraging them to eat consistently and have a well-balanced diet. Additionally, seniors should limit their intake of coffee or sugary foods, especially in the afternoon and evening.

Validate their feelings: When seniors are upset or confused, loved ones and the in-home care team should recognize and accept how they feel. As the support team allows seniors to process their feelings, a quiet and reassuring tone shows understanding and validation.

Be patient and kind: It can be frustrating on all sides when dealing with sundowning, but it’s essential for caregivers and loved ones to remain patient and kind. If seniors struggle, don’t argue or correct them. Instead, turn their attention to something positive or comforting.

Monitor medications: It’s essential to talk with the medical team to ensure seniors’ medicines aren’t worsening their sundowning signs. Also, making sure they take their medications consistently is key.

If sundowning gets too hard to handle, loved ones might need help from a geriatrician or a memory specialist to look at the situation and offer more support. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. To find the best way to help seniors through their sundowning episodes is to be flexible and willing to try different things. Working together, loved ones and the in-home care team can support seniors in navigating these changes.


If you or an aging loved one is considering In-Home Care Services in Dearborn Heights MI. please contact the caring staff at No Place Like Home Health, LLC today. 734-259-4200

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