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Behaviours that may be seen in care-recipients with dementia (causes and tips for caregivers) - Example of Sundowning

Alzheimers Society UK's information on behaviour changes that can be observed in people with Alzheimer's disease

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Below is information from the Alzheimers Society UK website:

'Sometimes a person with dementia will exhibit an increase in certain behaviours in the late afternoon or early evening. For example, people may become more agitated, aggressive or confused. This is often referred to as 'sundowning'. This pattern may continue for several months and often occurs in those in the moderate to severe stages of dementia.'

The causes of Sundowning are given here

Sundowning - tips for carers

  • 'Try to give the person something meaningful to do at this time of day, using past activities as a guide.
  • Plan quiet and relaxing activities for late afternoon/evening.
  • Think about what's happened during the day. Could the person's behaviour be a communication of a need such as requiring the toilet, feeling hungry or being in pain?
  • Consider minimising daytime naps and make sure the person gets enough light, especially sunlight.
  • Exercise can be beneficial for helping someone to sleep.
  • Improving the environment can help someone to sleep better, as can reducing intake of caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
  • Keep lighting appropriate - if it's too dark the person may become distressed as seeing things becomes harder, but if it's too bright it may cause overstimulation.'


Source: Alzheimer's Society

For more information on behaviours associated with Alzheimer's disease, rh

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