Clocks across the United States are falling back to standard time, which means darkness is settling in a little earlier than usual. With it come cold winds that could disrupt various aspects of our lives. Shorter days mess with our normal routines and give us this constantly tired feeling like we’d rather be spending the day in bed.
Shorter days are especially detrimental to elderly individuals with dementia as it exacerbates the symptom called “late-day confusion,” commonly known as sundowning. If a loved one of yours is suffering from dementia, you’ll notice how some of their symptoms, like agitation and confusion, tend to get worse later in the day. Compare this to how they are first thing in the morning and you’ll definitely see and experience a stark difference.
You could say an inverse relationship exists between shorter days and the symptoms brought about by certain types of dementia. The symptoms of chronic memory loss tend to increase and get worse as the clocks fall back.
While there is no medical cure for sundowning, there are methods to tame and manage its effects. These evidence-based methods have proven their efficacy in the past, and now it’s time for you to see which of them is best fitting for your loved ones.
- Establish a routine. Routines offer consistency and bring a feeling of safety. When your loved ones know what to expect from their day, you’re giving them a sense of comfort.
- Light up the care environment. It may be dark outside but you can always light up your home, giving it the brighter and more cheery atmosphere of a sunny day.
- The right supplements. There are vitamins and supplements which help with memory loss. Ask your loved one’s doctor which products are best for alleviating symptoms.
- Make sure they’re eating the right kinds of food. Certain types of food can influence behavior. You may want to steer your loved ones away from sugary treats or anything too sweet that may give them a sugar high and cause a restless sleep.
Before you apply these tips, always consider that your relatives or friends are one of a kind and that their situations are unique. A method that worked really well for other patients may not necessarily yield the same effects on them. It’s also important to note that sundowning, too, can occur with other types of conditions brought about by age and not just dementia.
Do you need the help of a Personal Care Assistant to implement a suitable method for dealing with shorter days? Consider our professionals at Hope Private In-Home Care, a renowned provider of In-Home Care Services in Snellville, Georgia. We hope to hear more of your thoughts about this on the comment section. Also, feel free to share this article on your social media accounts!