Seniors have many problems. Various mental health issues start to crop up, approaching old age. The term sundown syndrome generally comes up in patients who suffer from dementia. These are nothing but neuro-psychiatric symptoms that relate to an agitated mind, aggressiveness, and confusion. You must understand that the disease mostly reveals itself in the later part afternoon, the evening or at night. Those who are suffering from dementia are at a higher risk than other individuals. Some doctors connect it with the circadian cycle.
However, environmental and social factors are also to be blamed. Many often call it ‘sundowning.’ You must understand, that it is a psychological term that has not yet received any formal categorization. It can be quite difficult to distinguish the symptoms from those of other mental health issues like Parkinson’s or Dementia. You can be pretty much confused as to what care to offer to such people.
Managing The Disease – Its Signs And Symptoms
If you were ever entrusted with the responsibility to care for a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s you should know, what it is all about. You must have noticed, such people showing signs of the syndrome. The main reason is the darkness. As darkness sets in, such people become prey to the disease. The symptoms get worse, with the approaching night. The people get better as morning approaches. You cannot stop it completely; however, you can take certain steps to control it.
The various effects of this disease are agitation, restlessness, irritability, disorientation, and suspicion. You will find such people showing such signs in entirety or at intervals. You may also find such people shouting without any reason, or pacing up and down. Research has revealed that almost one out of five Alzheimer’s patients show such signs. But, it can also occur to older people, who do not have dementia.
Helping Someone With Sundown Syndrome
If you are caring for someone who suffers from this mental condition, please read on. You should draw a timetable or daily routine. Make sure such a patient wakes up on time, haves his meals on time, and also goes to sleep on time. You can try to schedule their meetings with people in the earlier part of the day. Do keep such patients away from alcohol, caffeine, to stop collagen depletion and keep the evening meal small. This will help, in many cases to a huge extent. Do keep another important thing in mind.
Such people should not take a nap 4 hours prior to the actual bed-time. In the evening, make sure to pull down the curtains and turn on the lights inside the rooms. Make the room comfortable for them. Do not make noise around the place. You can also help such people, by playing nice, humming tunes or soft music. Even after maintaining all such conditions, if the patient behaves badly, know how to react. Do stay calm, reassure them, keep the doors and windows locked so that they do not drift outside. If in case, nothing helps, you should consider calling the doctor.