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Family Caregiver Tips for Coping with Sundown Syndrome in Fresno, CA

Sep 22, 2017 by Sandra Hatch

Are you a caregiver for a loved one with dementia? In honor of World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this September, Comfort Keepers of Fresno, CA is happy to provide some tips on dealing with one of the most common problems associated with this disease.

Sundown syndrome, also known as sundowning, is a symptom of Alzheimer’s that occurs in the middle stages of the disease. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are degenerative diseases.


As a memory illness progresses and a senior’s memory diminishes, the symptoms they display often change. The sleep disruption, confusion, and behavioral changes that come with sundowning can be overwhelming for family caregivers. Below are some tips from home care professionals in Fresno, CA for coping with sundown syndrome and other Alzheimer’s symptoms:

Know When to Look For Help

Even when you are able to identify Alzheimer’s symptoms and the negative effects of things like sundowning, there may come a time where professional help becomes necessary. Professional caregivers and senior living facilities specially trained in memory care may be better suited to care for your loved one. What is most important to know when coping with memory illnesses is that you are never alone.

Recognize the Signs

Sundown syndrome, or sundowning, received its name because it’s symptoms typically occur in the late afternoon or evening. Alzheimer’s symptoms such as confusion are exacerbated by the end-of-day physical and mental exhaustion. According to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center, as many as 20% of seniors with Alzheimer’s will experience increased anxiety, confusion, and agitation late in the day. Being able to recognize sundowning and other Alzheimer’s symptoms is the first step in providing proper dementia care.

Manage Triggers to Create a Safe Environment

Poor lighting and shadows often increase confusion and anxiety with seniors experiencing sundowning. Keep the home well-lit in the evenings to help your loved one recognize their surroundings and that they are safe. Since exhaustion contributes to Alzheimer’s symptoms, make a comfortable and safe sleep environment. Sticking to a sleep schedule and avoiding mental stimulants like caffeine, sugar, or watching television before bed are also helpful. If you’re struggling to care for a loved one that has Alzheimer’s, a Comfort Keepers caregiver can help.


We understand the challenges associated with caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about the personalized in home care services and professional support available to you and your senior loved one, contact us or call (559) 365-6440 today. A specialized dementia caregiver can give you the extra support that you need to continue providing exceptional care for your loved one. 


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