1)

Make sure that your Loved One is always well rested: I know that this is easier said than done. It does help though if you can get your Loved One to take a nap and especially just before Sundowning period.

If they cannot or will not nap, then an hour of quiet time (reduced stimulation and activity) might help.

Turn off the TV, try some soft music and then sit and maybe do a quiet activity such as painting or sketching…

2)

Limit outings and activities to the morning hours, as generally the individual with Alzheimer’s disease is better able to tolerate outings, activities and any increased stimulus during the earlier part of the day…

3)

During the earlier part of the day an individual with Alzheimer’s disease can only tolerate so much stimulation and commotion. Take steps to eliminate over-stimulation such as television, children, and any loud noise intrusion to the brain, avoid quick movements of dashing around the house and many things going on at one time. Sometimes excessive daily home activities cannot be avoided such as cleaning the house in which case allow your Loved One to have a quiet area to retreat to…

4)

Identify and minimize physical discomfort, other types of physical discomfort can also be stressful such as: Hunger; being wet or soiled, feeling cold or to hot that can increase agitation and especially in the late afternoon and early evening.

Light snacking during the day can be helpful. Apples and other fruits can help replace lost energy – even if your Loved One is pacing back and forth, that does not mean they have an endless supply of energy.

So make sure that you’re Loved One’s personal needs are attended to and that the climate is at a comfortable level…

5)

Identify and treat and other medical ailments immediately: Many ailments can contribute to added agitation and confusion. Arthritis can be one of the most common causes…

6)

Be observant to possible causes of confusion and agitation:  I find that the noise from a hand phone tone can affect me much more now causing me a lot of stress…

Provide your children with a separate area to play as quietly as possible…

Mirrors can also become a trigger of Sundowning stress due to light reflections…

7)

Provide a private “time out” space for your Loved One…

8)

Keep the house as quiet as possible to avoid any aggressive episodes that might happen, but always be close at hand…

9)

Keep your surroundings as simple as possible. Be sure your Loved One’s walking paths are clear from clutter and obstacles. Low furniture such as coffee tables and footstools can make it difficult for your Loved One and become a source of frustration.

Keep knickknacks to a minimum and the tops of tables, television shelves and other surfaces as clear as possible….

Mirrors and pictures can sometimes become unfriendly images that a person with Alzheimer’s disease cannot understand. Complicated and noisy appliances are also frustrating to us…

And avoid changing things such as furniture around the house since changes of any kind can be extremely frustrating and disorientating for someone who has dementia…

10)

Try to maintain a normally daily routine such as set meal times, and pre-plan any shopping trips…

11)

Always Sit and talk calmly and quietly with your loved one throughout the day as it can help to make them relaxed…

12)

And above all else (Remember) you’re not alone within the illness… find out as much as you can about your spouse’s particular type of dementia from your local ‘Alzheimer’s Society’ check out other dementia related websites as they can be a great source of further  information from people in the same situation… and from people who actually have the illness…

Barry Pankhurst ©

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