Comfort Keepers Home Care is proud to provide senior care to the following areas:
80118, 80132, 80133, 80840, 80905, 80907, 80908, 80918, 80919, 80920, 80921
Alzheimer's Care for Members of the Woodland Park, CO Community
Learn about the challenges of Alzheimer's care and how Comfort Keepers of Woodland Park, CO can help.
Nearly 6 million American seniors over the age of 65 suffer from the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's disease. Among the many challenging situations faced by those providing Alzheimer's care is behavior called sundowning. According to the National Institute on Aging, nobody is certain what causes sundowning behavior and, as with Alzheimer's disease, itself, there is no cure. There are, however, patterns that can be understood and behavior modification activities that are often helpful.
Sundowning is, as the name implies, behavioral changes that occur as the sun goes down or as the amount of light begins to fade. Typical behaviors include restlessness, irritability, and increased levels of confusion. These emotional and cognitive stages are usually manifested through constant pacing and wandering, verbal outbursts, and other physical signs of anxiety and agitation. The behavior often starts at sundown but continues into the night disrupting the sleep patterns of both the senior and their caregiver.
Sundowning behavior is often compounded by the consumption of caffeine or alcohol, especially when it is served later in the day. Excessive fatigue also seems to make sundowning worse. An Alzheimer's care provider may plan several activities through the day with hopes of tiring a senior out so they will sleep. While this may make sense logically, the Alzheimer's brain does not act logically.
What does seem to reduce sundowning behavior in many seniors is reducing distractions as the sun starts to lower. This can include shutting off the television or radio, limiting the number of people in a room, or even closing the curtains and turning on the lights to limit the observation of lighting changes and shadows. Seniors who have spent time in the sunlight and who have engaged in physical activity during the day also seem to exhibit fewer sundowning behaviors than seniors with limited sun exposure or physical activity.
Alzheimer's Care in Woodland Park, CO
In short, Alzheimer's disease is a brutal ailment, and providing Alzheimer's care comes with many challenges including sundowning. The good news is that by learning the triggers and de-escalating techniques specific to your senior loved one, sundowning behavior can be lessened and moderated. For more information or to learn about the many ways Comfort Keepers professional Alzheimer's care team can help, contact a senior care coordinator today.