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What should I do if my loved one has sundowning?

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If your loved one is affected by sundowning:

Consider a baby monitor, motion detectors, or door sensors to let you know if your loved one is walking around.

  • Stay calm.
  • Ask them if they need something.
  • Remind them what time it is.
  • Don’t argue with them.
  • Reassure them. Tell them everything is OK.
  • If they need to get up and move around or pace, don’t try to hold them back. Just keep an eye on them.
  • Use night-lights and locks on doors or windows. Use a gate to block the stairs, and put away anything dangerous, like kitchen tools.

From: How to Manage "Sundowning" WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava on December 10, 2017

Medically Reviewed on 12/10/2017

SOURCES:

National Institute on Aging: “Sundowning.”

Alzheimer’s Association: “Sundowning.”

Khachiyants, N. , December 2011. Psychiatry Investigation

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: “Behavioral Challenges: Coping With … Sundowning.”

Schwartz, J. , December 2008. Current Neuropharmacology

Alzheimer’s Association: “Sleep Issues and Sundowning.”

Family Caregiver Alliance: “Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors.”

National Institute on Aging: “Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Reviewed by Neil Lava on December 10, 2017

SOURCES:

National Institute on Aging: “Sundowning.”

Alzheimer’s Association: “Sundowning.”

Khachiyants, N. , December 2011. Psychiatry Investigation

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: “Behavioral Challenges: Coping With … Sundowning.”

Schwartz, J. , December 2008. Current Neuropharmacology

Alzheimer’s Association: “Sleep Issues and Sundowning.”

Family Caregiver Alliance: “Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors.”

National Institute on Aging: “Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Reviewed by Neil Lava on December 10, 2017

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How can I get sleep if I'm caring for someone who's sundowning?

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