Mood changes are common for aging adults and often accompany health problems. Seniors with memory related illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are especially prone to challenges resulting from mood changes. (NCBI) About Sundowners Syndrome
One common mood issue among seniors with memory-related illnesses is sundowners syndrome. Sundowners Syndrome is:
• Not a disease, but a common behavior pattern noticed by medical staff and caregivers
• A change in mood occurring in the late afternoon, evening, or night
• Spotted by symptoms of stress, anxiety, restlessness, confusion, and/or aggression
• Most common among seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
• Worsened by poor lighting, fatigue, or a disrupted schedule (Senior Living)
Triggers of Sundowners Syndrome
To help minimize triggers, avoid:
• Dim or changing lighting
• Disruptions to routines
• Unhealthy diets
• Exciting, energizing activities later in the day
• Loud noises and music
• Argumentative or commanding tones
(Medical News Today)
Tips for Managing Sundowners Syndrome
While most people seem to calm down later in the day, seniors with memory-related issues experiencing sundowners syndrome tend to get more active. There are several ways to help seniors through this challenge.
Since disruptions to schedules and lack of sleep can exacerbate sundowners syndrome, it is important to support seniors getting good sleep. A solid routine and supplements like melatonin can help.
Dimming lights seem to be one of the triggers of sundowners syndrome, so it can be helpful to plan to turn more lights on later in the day and keep them on until bedtime. Closing the blinds while lights are on can also minimize symptoms.
Be a Calming Presence
To help seniors’ moods stabilize, caregivers should be a calming presence. Limit alcohol intake and activity later in the day. Remain calm if mood swings begin. Remind seniors what time it is and what their schedule holds. This helps seniors to relax despite feelings of confusion or anxiety they may be facing.
Mental Health Among Seniors
According to the World Health Organization, about 15% of seniors live with mental disorders. Some of the top mental challenges seniors face include: • Depression • Anxiety • Dementia • Alzheimer’s Disease
Home Care Tip
Mental Health Among Seniors Careful and consistent communication between caregivers is important for seniors who face sundowners syndrome. This ensures routines are kept, which can alleviate symptoms.
Whether you are looking for a reliable nurse for different medical services, or a professional aide for personal care services, Gulfshore Home Care is here to help. Because every client’s needs and lifestyle are different, our in-home care team will provide services specifically based on your loved one’s condition and circumstances.
We are located in the areas of Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, and Marco Island. Please do not hesitate to give us a call at 239-249-8318
With our home health care services you will be able to live a happy, safe, and independent life. We invite you read more about us. Every situation is unique, so to have all of your specific questions answered with personalized information from a friendly local home care expert, call 239-249-8318 now!