Boynton Beach Senior Centers and Home Care in Boca Raton

Home caregivers in Boca Raton help people with all sorts of different ailments, but there are some who deal specifically with those suffering from dementia. Over the years, caregivers will learn that what may appear like abnormal behavior in a patient is actually a pattern of deterioration, with sundowning being one of the more common issues. Sundowning is very often seen in the early stages of dementia, and is exhibited as outbursts of anger and frustration that apparently comes out of nowhere.


Sundowning can prove to be taxing on both the patient and the caregiver, as it becomes tough not to lash out when you get the feeling that a person is behaving irrationally. Talk to a caregiver who has spent any amount of time with dementia patients and they will be sure to tell you how exhausting it is to maintain a professional demeanor during a period that can often feel as though you are constantly under attack. Tiredness often plays a role here, as it is not uncommon for dementia sufferers to have difficulty sleeping while sundowning, which can exacerbate the situation even further.

It is a good idea to have a family member available to relieve the caregiver for an hour or two during the sundowning period of dementia. Simply having someone to talk to other than the caregiver can often get the patient out of their irritable state and back to a happier frame of mind, which can help ease much of the stress that comes from these agitated, sometimes angry periods.

The problem that may be faced here is that sundowning may be viewed as the cause of the behavior of the dementia patient when in fact something else is at play. An inability to sleep through the night or sudden emotional outbursts may not have anything to do with sundowning, and may in fact be caused by some form of physical discomfort. This is why it is so important to remain calm and assess the situation rather than getting sucked into a confrontation that could easily have been avoided with some open and frank dialog.

If the conversation with the patients yields no results, there are other things that you can try. Dimming the lighting can often help, as can playing some soft music. Remaining calm is also incredibly important in defusing the situation, as your behavior can serve as a catalyst. If you become agitated with someone going through a sundowning period, you may in fact be furthering their restlessness and agitation. It is in these situations where things can become particularly negative.

There is a reason why only a small percentage of people are equipped to act as caregivers on a permanent basis, and that is usually because they have the character traits that are essential for the job. Patience is a must, as is the ability to notice any changes in the person being cared for. It is surprising how often negative situations can be cut off before they begin, simply by paying attention to subtle changes in behavior.

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