Hey all…let’s talk some sundowners/sundowning in Alzheimer’s Land!! (Tied for the worst amusement park name ever with Alzheimer’s World, Dementiaville and with Barefooted Lego Village.)
Sundowners is an added value condition to the already raucous fun of Alzheimer’s. Folks with Alzheimer’s sometimes struggle in this way with late in the day issues, sometimes caused by getting day and night confused, sometimes caused by being exhausted from a terrible day of pacing and looking for everything in the stinking world that they expect was lost and from other unfortunate Alzheimer’s anxieties. There are other potential causes too such as meds, brain short-circuits, sleep apnea, and other joys of the condition. It reminds one of colic in a baby. Its cause may be confusing, but its outcome is familiar: it sucks. Colic sucks in a baby, but their ability to thrash things is limited by their wee stature. Mom is not wee.
Mom, the last two days, has fared pretty well…until around 3-3:30 when a light switch trips and she gets very irritated, angry, hyper-anxious and paces and explores relentlessly. We are working with the doctors and nursing staff to try to find a quick solution/treatment. See, Mom is very healthy from the chin dimple down, therefore this condition causes all involved a challenge to settle her down. She is strong and durable and pretty darn quick. She is a kind bull in a china shop full of fragile Sweet 17 members. She is not an angry person–never has been– but aggression in this context isn’t good and anger for mom 2.0 is the same as anger for mom 1.0.
So, what experiences do you have with this sundowning condition? Any advice?
My 3 hour visit today preceded her sundowners time and was generally happy and lightish in anxiety. No piano time since people were sleeping by the piano, but some nice time nevertheless…
Thank you all for helping us as we navigate the wild and crazy amusement park that is Alzheimer’s 🙁 Your encouragement and love is very life giving to us.