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Any Suggestions for Dealign with Sundowning Behavior?

Answered by Karen Garner

July 17, 2015

My mother has Alzheimer's and was diagnosed 5 years ago. Most recently my dad has been diagnosed with dementia. Mom has started to become very hateful when she speaks about anything but my main question is, my father has been showing difficulty in the late afternoon into evening and sometimes late night after midnight with SUN DOWNING. He gets very agitated and hard to deal with and he is up and down out of his seat mainly going from room to room. Almost as if he is lost... He is also on a Foley catheter due to reoccurring UTI... Do you have any suggestions in helping with any of these. He's also all the time fidgeting with his catheter.

I am so very sorry about your parents. You must be worn out! Thank you for writing.

Sundowning may be common, but that does not make it easy to deal with when you are the one losing sleep and having to help your loved one. Without more information from you, I am going to do my best to answer you to help.

First, have you spoken with his doctor to make him aware your father is sundowning? If so, is your father on any medication for this agitation? Is it possible to get help in the home to have someone else up with him during the night so everyone else can rest?

I would suggest trying to keep the UTI's to a minimum. I have heard of people constantly drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry pills. Also make sure he is drinking plenty of water, (not soda). This may not be an easy task if it isn't something he wants to do. Again, I would speak with his physician and see if they have any suggestions.

Good luck and I hope you can get some rest.

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