Understanding Sundowning


For dementia patients and their carers, the nighttime can be challenging. Sundowning, which can occur in the middle to late stages of dementia, is the reason for this. The phrase refers to a confused state in the late afternoon and early evening. Even though sundowning is not a disease, many people in the middle to late stages of dementia experience its wide range of symptoms. In this article, we will talk about some tremendous nighttime soothing techniques for Los Angeles hospice and palliative care patients who are experiencing this phenomenon.  Sundowning can happen for various reasons and at any time, such as:

Changes to the patient’s internal clock

Dementia patients in Los Angeles hospice care may experience the same disconnection from their surroundings as jet-lagged individuals. Even though the sun is out and there are people around, their internal clock tells them it is time for bed—or vice versa. There may be a lot of agitation and anxiety as a result.

Fatigue and burnout

A person with dementia can become highly exhausted after a day of socializing or simply staying awake without any naps, which can cause mood swings and behavioral problems at night. Those with dementia who lack the same cue to know when and how to go to sleep are particularly susceptible to this mental and physical weariness.

Unfamiliar settings

Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can cause individuals to react very poorly to novel circumstances or surroundings. When a person moves into a new facility or room, sundowning behavior might start immediately because they are unfamiliar with their bed, new space, or even the caretaker. When making significant adjustments like this, proceed cautiously because even a small change might make people uncomfortable.

How to ease a Los Angeles hospice patient with sundown syndrome

Sticking to routines

A regular schedule can help people with dementia avoid unexpected events that often upset them. Doing so can also help their bodies adjust to waking up at the same time each day, eating at the same time each day, and going to bed at the same time each night.

Monitor food and drink intake

Your body may feel a little more energized or be too busy digesting to fall asleep if you eat a large meal or consume items like coffee too late in the day. Try to eat a substantial lunch followed by a lighter dinner, and stay away from caffeinated and sugary beverages.

Plan important day’s events or activities around sundowning

As soon as you specify the time or manner in which sundowning behavior starts, make sure to plan events or appointments accordingly. Avoid having them transition directly from a stimulating activity to bedtime if their sundowning becomes terrible before the sun even sets. Additionally, only schedule appointments early enough in the morning if they get enough.

Put your faith in Faith and Hope Hospice.

It is crucial to assess the specifics of the patient’s condition, such as their general medical history, the seriousness of their illness, and any medications they need to take to relieve any pain or agonizing symptoms. We maximize the comfort level of the dementia patients that our Pasadena and Los Angeles hospice serves to ensure the highest quality of end-of-life care attainable.