Some people with dementia become more disoriented as the day move towards sunset. Confusion, agitation, anxiety and restlessness increase. They may pace, wander or be resistant to redirection. Sundowning is a term frequently used to describe these behaviors, which depending on the time or year and geographical location, may start as early as mid-afternoon and continue through the night.
The pattern of sundowning is unique to each person. Some people with dementia exhibit these behaviors frequently, while in others it occurs rarely or not at all. However, when it happens, it can upset the person with dementia as well as the family and professional caregivers.
While no single approach can reduce or eliminate sundowning, here are some tips that may prove helpful:
You may need to customize your approach to fit your loved one's needs and preferences.