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Tips for Caregivers With Sundowning Patients

Tips for Caregivers With Sundowning Patients

If you are a caregiver who is currently or has previously worked with patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, then there’s a good chance you know how challenging it can be when they struggle with sundowning syndrome.

Sundowning is a psychologically-based occurrence that causes sleep disturbances and is noted to be especially prominent in people in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease and mixed dementia. It can manifest in several ways: as a disturbance of the patient’s biological clock, resulting in mixing up day and night; or fear of shadows and low-lit places in those with Alzheimer’s, for example. Other symptoms of sundowning include a general sense of disorientation, less need for sleep, and acting out at night.

If any of this sounds familiar, here are some useful tips for home care workers who have patients with sundowning syndrome:

> Keep the patient’s home well-lit in the evening. This reduces any chances of panicked or disturbed behavior from overexposure to darkness or shadows and generally promotes a sense of calm and well-being, especially in those whose sundowning manifests in the confusion of day and night.

> During the day, make sure to stay active through physical or mental exercise as is appropriate for your patient. A walk in the park, reading a book, or watching a movie can all be great daily activities to help an Alzheimer’s or dementia sufferer use up some of that excess energy so they can rest at night more easily.

> When it’s nighttime, minimize stressful situations at home. Soft music and quiet activities are best for keeping agitation at a minimum. Too much stimulation from watching TV or a eating a large dinner (especially with the inclusion of alcohol or caffeine) can result in states of irritability, confusion, or even delirium. As their caregiver, find quiet, soothing ways to best meet the needs of your patient.

> Be sure to look out for specific things that can trigger sundowning behavior. For instance, certain TV shows, loud noises, children, pets, etc. Do what you can to minimize triggering behaviors so your patient can keep calm and relax.

> Lastly–and this is an important tip for all home care assistants–make sure  not to ignore your own needs. Stay as well-rested as you can and keep your own stress to a minimum. You will not only be better-prepared to interact with sundowning patients, but with most other aspects of life in general.

When caring for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or mixed dementia, sundowning can be difficult to handle. However, with a calm, stress-free attitude and these helpful tips in mind, it should be a lot easier from here on out.

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Reviewer: Patricia
Patricia 2020-09-18 via Google
I like working for 24hr home care because they allow me to have a flexible schedule and I can take advantage of how far away from home I'd like to travel for work.
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Liliana D 2020-09-18 via Google
Improving getting better and better really listen to our voice send us a recognition letter congratulating us as frontline workers, send us a little gift for our performance, send us an gift certificate from amazon for school supplies pack of $30 dollars for our children looking forward for more improvements feels good to be recognize as a great frontline worker helps us get more motivated afterall thats going on. Ive never got anything or a congratulations from them ever its the first time in the 3 years ive work with them and today they call me to say happy bday i feel special. Thank you 24hr homecare
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Tatyana 2020-09-18 via Google
Pros: It’s nice working here. With this agency, you have a very flexible schedule. There are a lot of 4-5 hour shifts, although they do offer overnight shifts as well from 8 hours, maybe 12. You can qualify for employee benefits after 1 year of working here. They have “emergency rate” wages as well, these are last minute shifts that can raise from $1-5 an hour; if they hired you at $14hr and they give you an (e-rate) emergency rate then it’ll probably be from $15, $16, $17+ depending on the case. Traveling is required and they did have a virtual interview with me. They have employees working 24 hours if you decide to call them. They use the CC-Go app to clock in and clock out. They also give you a link to a corporate perks website that will give you discounts on phones, plane tickets, hotels ect. Cons: Communication with the office/managers can be difficult at times because when you call, anyone/random person can answer. My personal recommendation as a company request for employee(s): Sending each caregiver a “care package” in a ziplock bag with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, ect. in case a facility or client doesn’t have the supplies needed. Having these “care packages” would help the company prevent any further sicknesses when dealing with urination and bowel movements if anything were to happen.
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Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Highly recommend!
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Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Great, award-winning company!
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Great company! Highly recommend.
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Reviewer: Laura
Laura 2020-06-12 via Google
Our care givers are loving, friendly and devoted. They are family! Thank you for being here for us.
Reviewer: Richard
Richard 2020-06-09 via Google
Our Care-giver Mudrakat is a blessing for us, with a big heart, and a very professional approach and skills - she will go far...
Reviewer: Raul
Raul 2020-05-28 via Google
Great place to work for!

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