Sundowning can be a complicated problem for your loved one. She may not understand why she's feeling more agitated and upset and you might not know how to help her. Managing the rest of your loved one's day can help to make sundowning much less prevalent.
Set up an Exercise Plan
Work with your loved one's doctor to determine how much exercise is right for your loved one. Once she's cleared for exercising, set up a routine that works for her. Exercising earlier in the day can help your loved one to avoid extreme agitation later in the day when sundowning becomes a bigger issue.
Schedule Your Loved One's Day Properly
Sundowning can keep your loved one from being able to do more demanding activities later in the day. With that in mind, it's a good idea to schedule any of those types of activities earlier in the day when your loved one is at her best. Less physically and mentally demanding activities can get scheduled later in the day.
Wind Down in the Afternoon and Evening
By the time late afternoon arrives, your loved one is going to need to start winding down. This could mean listening to some soothing music or taking a warm bath. The beginning of the evening should work easily into your loved one's bedtime routine.
Stick with Your Loved One's Bedtime Routine
Your loved one's bedtime routine signals to her body and her brain that sleep is coming and that the end of the day is quickly approaching. You might want to start dimming lights and helping your loved one gradually ease into pre-bed rituals.
Limit Caffeine and Other Stimulants Later in the Day
Just as caffeine and other stimulants too late in the day can keep you awake, they can do the same for your loved one. Not only can they keep her awake, but they can make sundowning much worse. Start keeping track of when your loved one consumes caffeine and how that impacts her later in the day. Then you'll have a solid idea when to cut the caffeine off.
If your loved one has home care providers stopping by later in the day, make sure they're aware of her routine so that they can help her to stick to it.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in New Milford, CT, or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Danbury, CT at 203-731-2544.