Sundowners after a visit to the hospital

Several family members have commented here about loved ones who began showing signs of Sundowners when hospitalized, or a loved one who had dementia and perhaps some Sundowning symptoms, which worsened significantly while in the hospital.  Unfortunately, older adults in general often suffer negative effects when hospitalized.  Numerous medical studies have documented the levels of functional decline in older adults (significant as early as day 2 of being in the hospital) due to limited mobility, … [Read more...]

Coping with Sundowners and End of Life Counseling

Hospice and end of life counseling are two realities of Sundowners Syndrome  that many of us do not want to face. The symptoms of Sundowners and the treatment options are difficult enough to cope with. Helping a loved one cope and live with Sundowners Syndrome requires structure and a lot of patience. So, what do you do when end of life counseling changes are introduced? Here are a few ways to cope with end of life counseling and a loved one living with Sundowners. Be Their Voice One of … [Read more...]

Living with Mom Sundowning

My mom is 91 and lives with me for the past 12 years. She was always full of life and mentally sharp as a tack. She has suffered from chronic utis over the last few years which caused a lot of confusion so I attributed her mental changes on those but I have seen a regular decline in her attitude and now have come to realize this is not clearing up so I guess I am the one living in denial. For the last 6 months all she wants to do is sit in her chair not talking, staring off in to space … [Read more...]

Respite Care – Caregivers taking care of themselves

The term used for caregiver rest, or a short break for relief, is respite care. Respite could be a short period every day where you get out to a favorite activity, to do errands or simply relax.  Or, it could be a week more break while you go on vacation or attend a family event.  It could even be having someone to help you during the most challenging hours of care, to support each other and more easily handle your loved one's needs (and restlessness, agitation, redirection, responding to … [Read more...]

Transition Planning for Elders

My recent post about the Negative Effects of Hospitalization explained some of the challenges for elders in general who are hospitalized, as well as how hospitalization can impact cognitive functioning and exacerbate Sundowning. What if your loved one is currently in the hospital?  Where do you go from here?  How can you minimize the risks of transitions (from home to the hospital, returning home afterwards, or going to rehabilitation or a care facility)? Transitions bring the potential … [Read more...]