Sundowner's Syndrome: A Case Study

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Anyone who has ever cared for a loved one who struggles with dementia, knows that it’s not an easy task. One of the most frustrating aspects involved in dementia care is dealing with Sundowner’s syndrome, also called nocturnal delirium. This condition can make a dementia patient extremely moody, irritable and anxious, particularly during evening hours. Sundowner’s syndrome, which is a disorder creating confusion in dementia patients, is so-named because it typically occurs after sundown. It usually strikes anywhere from late afternoon to early evening hours and the symptoms are much those of delirium. If you care for someone with dementia and are frustrated, especially by their behavior from Sundowners, take heart. You can get through this time of the day by making some adjustments. Here are a few ways to calm…show more content…
One of the best ways to soothe Sundowner’s syndrome is to help regulate sleep. This entails not letting the patient nap too long as doing so can create difficult to sleep throughout the night. Instead, encourage the person to only have one or two catnaps that are 20 minutes or less. Monitor the Patient’s Diet and Liquid Consumption This may mean limiting the amount of sugary foods the patient eats, besides making sure he or she doesn’t drink too many caffeinated beverages as this can cause night restlessness. It can be beneficial to work with a qualified nutritionist who can devise a food and beverage plan suited for your loved one. Encourage Exercise One reason it may be hard to sleep at night is because of a lack of enough physical activity during the day. Discuss with your loved one’s doctor or caretaker which types of exercises are both beneficial and safe. By getting more physical during the day, often dementia patients are more able to get a good night’s sleep and be less agitated at night because they’re tired. Set and Maintain a Routine for Meals, Medications and

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