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8 tips for dealing with Sundowners Syndrome

Sundowning usually occurs in Alzheimer's and dementia sufferers in the late afternoon or in the evening. About 45 percent of Alzheimer patients experience increased confusion, anxiety and other symptoms of their diseases which fuel severe mood swings, unrealistic demands, extreme suspicion and seeing things or people that just aren't there.

To ease the burden on caregivers, here are eight ways to cope with sundowning:

• Seniors should be checked out by their doctor to ensure that their sundowning is limited to their dementia-related diagnosis and nothing else

• An extra dose of grace, mercy and patience is needed when preparing the senior for the evening

• Seniors should be steered away from caffienated drinks as much as possible--they are just like giving a two-year-old candy and then saying it's time for a nap

• Adjust the lighting in the home to set a mood of winding down for the night

• Stay positive and calm when communicating with the senior to ensure them that the home is safe and secure

• Ensure that the senior is well-feed and hydrated prior to bedtime

• Naps should be avoided during the day to ensure seniors can sleep at night

• Consider playing some soothing music to bring about relaxation and comfort