Symptoms of Sundowners can be varied but the key is that the symptoms occur in the late afternoon or evening, or in the case of someone with more severe dementia, the symptoms worsen at night. These symptoms, which are also symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia,

These symptoms can be dangerous, both for the person with the Syndrome and for anyone around them. There are multiple publications and web sources which include instruction and real world experience in caring for someone with sundowners or dementia. Please see our caregivers guide for more information.

You may find that your loved one is suddenly seeing angels in the room or believes you have stolen something. They may not recognize you or become terrified at the thought of your leaving even for a moment. The behavior is illogical and irrational, but bear in mind that someone with the symptoms of sundowners cannot control these behaviors.

Wandering is especially dangerous because the person with Sundowner’s will suddenly be missing and may not know where he or she is going or why. Without identification, people with the Syndrome have become lost and unable to find their way back home.

  • Rapid mood changes
  • Anger
  • Crying
  • Agitation
  • Pacing
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Stubbornness
  • Restlessness
  • Rocking

The most difficult symptoms of sundowners to deal with are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Hiding Things
  • Paranoia
  • Violence
  • Wandering

People with Sundowner’s Syndrome may also “shadow” you, following you around and doing everything you do. They might ask you questions over and over or interrupt you when you’re speaking to someone else. They may lose their full language abilities, and abstract thoughts may become especially difficult for them to comprehend.

Keep in mind that if someone has a paranoid or hallucinatory episode, there’s no point in trying to convince them they’re wrong. It simply won’t work, and they will most likely not remember the episode in the morning. These can be considered symptoms of sundowners. For more clarification on the matter, please consult an eldercare professional.


  1. Lupita Carr says

    It is so sad to read all of the above. Needles to say my mother who will be 90 in August and has lived with me for the past 12 years is experiencing most of what hasbeen mentioned. Reading all the comments have helped me to understand my mother a little better. I still work full-time and have cared for my husband who had a stroke and a cardiac arrest last May, had to place him in a nursing home for rehabilitation. He has been taken to the hospital by ambulance three times since he came home with lung/breathing problems; water retention in the lungs. He is also a diabetic. My mother has a provider 5 hours a day 6 days a week during the day while I am at work and seems to be fine, but as soon as the sun goes down she turns into a different person. I am reading for the first time about Sundowners Syndrome and now I can understand mother so much better. I want to place her in Assisted Living or Nursing Home, but she refuses and I cannot count on her because she works too. what am I to do? She gets up in the middle of the night comes and knocks on my door wanting to eat and says she was not fed during the day, uses abusive language telling what an ingrate I am and how I take things from her room, her relatives come in the middle of the night to sleep in the spare bedroom and are taking her money (according to her). I have had to take medication to be able to sleep and frankly I do not know how much longer I can take this. But I guess I must continue the good Lord for endurance and strength, for He never gives us anymore than what we can take.

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    • mary t. morris says

      i had to deal with similiar situations starting when i was only 13 years old to 30 years old. i have a brother who is schizophrenic. for all that you say a bout your older
      parents just try to live with a schizophrenic person . What you describe as having to
      deal with irrational behavior just at sundown. i had to deal with it 24/7 and i was
      younger and had to deal with it for many years. just when you think you have it
      so rough just remember there are others who have suffered more.

    • Karen Stanek says

      My Mom has been dealing with my StepDad for about 10 years now. The anger has always been there but his is complete rage.And then destruction of objects.He has also harmed family pets resulting in death!! We have moved in with them and everyday it’s starts the same within minutes of him being awake he looks for something to be angry with.The worst part is he first lays in bed awake at all hours cursing under his breath he gets louder and louder waking my Mom thus depriving her of sleep.This household is in complete stress and sadness..I believe he has some symptoms however I think he has always been a very angry individual and age has intensified the behavior. .Another problem here in California my Mom isn’t even allowed to discuss problems with the family doctor because of Hepa laws.And of course he will not tell the doctor that anything is wrong. .It is pretty upsetting that you fear someone that your supposed to love..Any advice or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated. .

    • Dazzlindachshundmom says

      Hi, Thanks for giving folks like me a chance to talk about things going on with their loved ones who have Dementia and Sundowner’s. I have read most posts however, I have not read one with quite the same problems I am facing with my Dad. My Dad is 86 and is once again has been admitted to a psych hospital. My Dad’s Dementia and Sundowner’s has progressed to a chronic repeated cycle of psych hospital admissions. Dad had been in an extremely nice nursing home for the past year. During this time of one year, he has had over a dozen psych evaluations and admissions. He is very non-compliant with taking meds and constantly refuses them. He says he hates me and threatens to kill me and my family. He has even tried to attack and hit us at the nursing home when we went to visit him. He is constantly threatening suicide and making threats toward others. Every time he makes a threat it results in another psych stay. He has a fixation that another family member is going to take him home and care for him, which is totally false, but he believes it to be true. He constantly want to go home (which has been sold to pay for his nursing home care.) His anger and aggression has now escalated to the point that he struck another resident in the nursing home. Of course, they now consider him too great of a risk and will not allow him to return. This was just 3 weeks ago. So while at that psych hospital, it was decided by their placement specialist that my Dad no longer needed to be in a skilled care facility, but in a memory care home. I called nearly every day to this hospital asking about my Dad’s placement and discharge. I was not notified until the night before his discharge of where he was to be going. I was extremely pressured to sign my Dad in this memory care home because as the director put it “you really don’t have many choices”. I don’t know what this placement specialist did to get paid for, but she certainly did nothing to help me place my Dad in a place that truly met his needs. Three days after his discharge from the psych hospital and his admission into the memory care home, I get a call that Dad is refusing his meds and meals and “could I come and have a conversation with him”. Since I am aware of the scope of his aggression, how he curses me, threatens me and attempts to attack me, I agreed to a conversation with my Dad only with supervision so that I may be protected. That “conversation” never occurred, before the meeting was set up, I received another call stating they were needing permission to send my Dad out AGAIN to another psych hospital that he was again threatening suicide. The memory care home didn’t mention the fact to me that he also made threats to the staff and tried to throw a chair through a window in an attempt to “break out of there”. I got that bit of info from the psych hospital. Of course, the memory care home will currently agree to take him back-they want his money !!! But, once his money is all gone and he is once again Medicaid eligible (they do not take Medicare or Medicaid) I will be forced to find him placement into another facility. Now does this really sound like they have my Dad’s best interest in mind, knowing it will take until his money runs how for him to adjust being there, if he ever does? The problem is where will I place him when he money runs out ? Nobody wants to take him because he is aggressive, violent, and non-compliant. I like others in this post, had to place my loved one in a nursing home because they became impossible to properly care for at home. I had an extremely hard time getting the nursing home that he was in for the past year to accept him because of his aggressive and non-compliant behavior he had displayed in a medical hospital and rehab following a broken hip. This nursing home wanted my Dad to be admitted to a permanent state psych hospital because of his behavior and constant readmissions to psych hospitals. Of course, all the psych hospitals except the one state hospital, are acute care and the course of treatment always results in the same manner-adjust his meds for the 14 days he is there and send him on his way knowing he will be back in few days. His hospitalizations are a constant chronic cycle and are like a revolving door. I feel like nothing is getting accomplished in all these hospital stays. I feel like a lone cry in the darkness and no one else knows what I am going through. This is not who my Dad is. This ugly behavior he is displaying are demons calling themselves Dementia and Sundowner’s. My Dad is very loving, gentle, kind and caring man whom I still love deeply and want the very best for, because he always gave me the best he could. I pray to God that he will give me strength and keep strong. I also pray for wisdom in battling these horrible demons who are trying to take my Dad from me. Today, I walk through high briars. I may become wounded, but wounds heal and become scars, the briars will bloom and someday I will harvest sweet berries. Thanks again for allowing me share my story and tears.-Dazzlindachshundmom

      • Diane says

        Hi Dazzlindachshunom! My heart goes out to you and your dad. I see how much you love him, the real him! You can remember how he was before and wish he would change back. Have they ever given him melatonin? If not you should speak to his doctor there about it. I researched it online, using good websites like You should look up dementia and melatonin there. It doesn’t hurt to try one dose. The strength my mom-in-law was given is 6 mg. the very first night she had her evening meds she was as sweet as honey! My husband is so nervous, it’s hard for him to see her make a complete 180 degree turn!! I had to ask him, do you want your mom to be the way she was before? Yelling, screaming, hitting, scratching, digging her nails into him. She also swore worse than a sailor, and verbally abused him! I wish I had an abortion, I wish you were never born! He was always her favorite. Maybe this is why the rest of his family stays away. The only time they come over is to try to get money from her. Thankfully, she doesn’t have immediate access to her money or it would all be spent! I’m so sorry for your pain. Please try the melatonin and let me know how it worked!

  2. seeking counsel says

    My mother is 80 years old and i believe she is suffering from sun downers. for the past two years she has experienced horrific hallucinations including visions, believing someone is in the attic and under the house. She smells what she calls drugs, she believes people are spraying her with drugs through the vents. She lives alone and is fully able to care for herself, cook – clean – bathe- and is generally very sharp mentally with both short term and long term memory in tact. My father passed away 4 years ago, the first year and a half she did very well resting at night , then she had a horrible nightmare then all began to change. She refuses to discuss her experiences with her doctor, my sisters and I do not know what to do..I welcome counsel on how to best care for my dear mother.

    • Barbara says

      Hi Tammy, I am sorry you Mom is going through that. My mom was having the same problem, and I started leaving her bathroom light on at night, and it helped sooo much! But, just the other night she started up again seeing things in her room. so, Now, I am just dealing with it as I have before. I have a Baby Monitor in her room, so if she needs me, she calls me. My Mother is also very sharp in the head, but as the night comes, all that changes. My Mother will be 87 in July…I am so glad she is still doing as well as she does. I do have to help her dress, and I cook for her, and clean up after her, so it is different. But, I would just keep checking in with her in the evenings. They don’t like to tell their Doctors anything at this point. They are just done being poked, and prodded. Good Luck Dear…..Barb

      • diana says

        hello, I am not sure if anyone is going thru what I am going with my 86 yr old mom. I don’t even know if it is sundown but she is in a nursing home and for the past month her depression is worsening. All she does is complain, cries, and is uncontroling. The staff is unable to meet her needs and all they want to to is prescribe pyscotic pills tah have millions of side effects. She is on the lowest dose of ativan but now they want to give her surroquil. She was on geodon but when i looked online i basically thought i am giving my mom an early trip to her tomb and discontinue it. Please does anyone have any suggestions as to what i can do. She has had a blood hemorage in the brain back in 08, hypertension, diabetes,. I feel so depress myself as I have 3 children myself and I have no siblings , no family that is there for us and so ican get advice. This is driving me crazy to see my mom this way

        • cheryl says

          Hi Diana, I am in the same situation. all our family is gone or live in other states. I know how you feel. I have job that has been very busy. My son is in the Marine Corp and is in Ca. for now. My older daughter works and has a family, and my other daughter has bi polar issues and really is no help. All my mother does is cry, feels scared, no one visits during the week and she gets lonely. Sometimes I feel so guilty but what can one do. I pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe for strength. Just have to remember we are doing our best and that has to count for something. I took my mother off all those drugs as well.She is on a low dose of Ativan too.I will keep you in my prayers.

        • Tammy Coleman says

          Sundowners syndrome is what might what she have. If she should be on a depression drug, she should be on something mild like Zoloft, start at a low dose then can be increased if necessary. She can always come off it later with no side effects. No long term effects.

    • Julie says

      My mother is 86 & doing very well considering she has congestive heart failure & blood pressure problems. Recently she was hospitalised with severe trigeminal neuralgia. The hallucinations started in the emergency department after morphine. After being moved to a ward and given a sleeping pill, the visions & terrible nightmares started. I stayed with her all night. In the morning I refused to let anyone give her any more meds. She wasnt in pain any more & hallucinations had gone. That night she had another sleeping tablet with more horrific nightmares. Check any medications she’s on. They can react with one another or it can be withdrawal as a particular medication wears off.
      My mum is home again living independently whereas doctors said that wouldnt be possible. She is not taking any of the meds prescribed in the hospital although she is still under a specialist for her heart failure. Too much sugar & not enough protein or water in the diet can cause major sleep problems. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause mental confusion & all elderly people do better with digestive enzymes to help them get nutrients from their food as this ability declines with age. Get a medical power of attorney for your mum & do a lot of research. Hope things improve for you.

    • T. Stewart says

      Seeking Counsel my father is doing the exact same things your mother was doing. Can you give an update on the treatment that occurred and how she is doing now.

  3. joy says

    I had to put my Mom in the hospital last week She became so angry most of the time would say hateful horrible things and tried to drive off and she is legally blind

    I have been crying for days I went to the hospital again today and they are trying all kinds of tests to see what it is She says she hates me for putting her in there and probably can never come home again

    I have put my life on hold for over 15 years she is now 85

    I would do anything for my Mom but the hatefulness is awful and her arguing about everything

    They said it was dementia but a lot of other things are starting to crop up also

    I have no family support for when my Dad died about 3 years ago the family split wide open The others took everything they could as fast as they could of my Dad’s

    I have such guilt but I needed professional help with my Mom so very bad She can appear so sweet to others when she wants and then with me it is like Cujo I had to even record her on my cell phone when she would throw her tyrants so people would believe me

    This is horrible I feel so guilty but I have no choice My health is starting to really suffer now from the stress

    I believe in God with all my heart I pray that he will guide me through this rough time

    I thought I could always take care of my Mom till the dementia got bad She thinks everyone is out to get her and that everything is stupid and never has anything nice to say about anyone

    I told her today again at the hospital I love you Mom and she just glared at me She said you are responsible for putting me in the nut ward I told her she told me and others she wanted to commit suicide and she was hearing voices and music after 3 pm

    I tried to focus her back on the fact the doctors decided that she needed to be evaluated and put her in there but she has total hatred for me right now

    To all that have had to go through this God Bless You


    • Michelle says

      Dear Joy,

      Please do not blame yourself. Unfortunately if your mom follows my dad’s pattern, it is not going to stop there. She will eventually become aggressive and violent, and for her sake, and yours, you have done the best thing! You have cared for her for the past 15 years, and done verything that you could, and it now time that the professionals take over and do for her what they can. Rather have quality time with her, and know that the nasty person that she has become, is not your mother. If your mother’s brain was still whole, she would be shocked at the way she was behaving. She is very lucky to have had you for all this time, and you have been a wonderfull daughter. Please do not beat yourself up because you cannot cope anymore! You did so for so long! I admire you for what you have done. I only lasted for about 9 months, and the only reason why my dad is going to a home with professional care is because he has become dangerous to himself and others.

      I greatly admire you for having lasted so long! You deserve a medal for all of this! God bless, and try to get some rest and take time for yourself.


    • Connie says

      Joy, you just described my mom. My dad died three years ago and after about two months she started accusing everyone – my family mostly as we lived next door and took care of her and dad – of stealing everything from her. from her hearing aides to all of dad’s tools he used to have when he worked as a carpenter. My brother said to just return what I took, problem was, I didn’t take anything! Then she accused my husband of having killed dad, my kids of stealing her grocery money, camcorder, clothes. . . You name it, we probably stole it. We had to move away to keep my sanity and my brother became her main caretaker. He still thinks there is nothing wrong with her. I don’t understand where he is coming from. She now hears loud Christian music all the time, says it keeps her up at night. and that the neighbors are piping it into her house and yelling at her at night. My brother moved her to an elderly apartment complex and she says they don’t like her and are stealing from her. I don’t know how this will end, but mom is 86 and in good physical health and now wants to get out of the apartment and in her own house again. She refuses to come and live with me or my brother so that we could take care of her. And I hate to admit, I am not sure I could handle it if she did. . . But I always swore I would never put my parents in a home.

    • karen says

      You are doing a good job with your mother yet I do have to say as much as we love them dementia is apart of most peoples life when they are old…
      It is best for you to understand you can not change it yet have time out for yourself…
      It may sound cruel yet you are still of sound mind and need to stay strong in this life situation…
      Your mother will continue on like this to her time has come for rest and just listening to her and agreeing is not easy yet I do this with my mother and she is happy with the out come..
      I look at it as long as she is happy and reasonable content I have done my job.
      I am not saying this is right of me yet I cope this way and she is happy with my pretend …every now and then I have time out to realise I am a person and have my own needs…
      I step out side the circle and enjoy my life just like she did in her own early days in life…
      I am not apart of what is going on in her head yet I am supportive towards her feelings and try to understand as much as I can…
      I do not see it as lying yet see this is a condition I can not take away as much as I want to .

  4. danny says

    my father has a severe cause of sd… he is 80 years old, he sleeps in his chair on and off during the day. i try to keep him awake as much as possible in hopes that he will have a good nights sleep. impossible. we live in a 2 story townhouse, which has very steep stairs. i have documented 15 trips up and down these stairs while on pain medicine as well as sleep medication.
    after a recent fall, thank god, only bout 5 steps, he injured his neck and wore a brace for about a month. during this time, i rearranged the living area downstairs and relocated his bed. that lasted for about a week. i made a deal with him that i would move his bed back upstairs if he would let me put a gate at the top of the stairs for his safe being and would be latched only after all his medication had been taken and he started feeling the affect. he would beg me to open it so he could continue to travel up and down. my brothers said it was cruel so i removed it. i have 3 brothers. 1 lives out of state, 2 are 40 minutes from us. i get 0 help from either brother and 1 will not even call.
    dad wonders alot at night, follows me everywhere i go in the house, worries bout the mail everyday, very stubborn, and has hid thing that he cant remember where he hid them…. he has started loseing his abality to make sentences and carry on a conversation..
    am i supposed to let him continue the travel up and down the stairs? i am scared to death im gonna wake up one morning and find him at the end of the stairs

  5. Glowingcane39 says

    Does anyone know if Sundowners can start in someone as young as 65? My mother has lived alone since my Dad passed away 4 years ago. During the evening when I speak to her on the phone our converstations start very nice. However somewhere in the middle she will begin to call me names, and not seem to understand that I am telling her she isn’t being nice. She will also tell me terrible things that she says my Dad said about me or my Husband, despite knowing my Dad would have never said those things. She claims to sometimes recall it, but only when reminded, and other times she makes an excuse as to why she can’t remember. She complains about people stealing her medications, and things that I don’t think even have value for other’s to steal. I am very concerend for My Mother as at first it made me Mad that she was saying these terrible things to me, but something seemed off. If anyone know’s of anyone having problems at the age of 65 living totally alone please share your story. Thanks, and Good Luck to Everyone.

    • nj says

      I don’t know if this will help but my sister in law is in her early 60’s and had fought with depression for over a year and had a manic state that almost sent her to the psych ward. After some testing they found out her heart was going into a-fib and it was causing her brain to be starved of oxygen. This was causing her to say things to her husband that were mean and hurtful. And to her sister in law (a nurse)who was trying to help her. It has taken them another year to get that stabilized in some form. She had several of those “breaks” during this past year as she could not tell when her heart was going into a-fib. There were no physical symptoms she could feel. She just would suddenly go off, so to speak. Would begin as a manic state and escalate to not making any sense at all and just rambling the most awful things. Just one more thing that can cause confusion in our brains…

      To all the other folks reading this page, my heart goes out to you. I found this page while researching sundowners. Was just told today the nursing home my stepmom is in told my sister she was showing signs of sundowners. She was just admitted on the 9th of this month to a hospital for an eval of her mental state. Dr’s said she had dementia and needed 24 hr care in skilled facility. We had her transferred to be closer to my sister and I. Now that I’ve been reading this page I’m concerned they jumped the gun as she had a UTI when they admitted her. I will find out tomorrow what meds they have her on and if they got rid of her UTI.

  6. Tanje Herron says

    I don’t no if my mother has sundowner or not, but she’s fine doing the day. she goes to the store, church, cooks, every thing a normal person does. But at night she stays up all night long worrying about here health, busy checking here boold pressure every ten minitues. then that leads to here anixity. every thing starts at night. Depresion, Restlessness, Fear, and now I’ll notice that she is forgeting to pay certian bills and the worse of all hiding things like here money or bank card and other important documents. I don’t no what to do but to move here in with me so that i can keep here in sight pluse other family memeber that stays with me will help out. but I am suprise that the Doctors does not notices that seems that she been 11 times to the emergancy room night after night with in a month. don’t no what else to do help for any comments.

  7. Cathy says

    I care for a 102 year old amazing woman. My husband and I have helped her since her husband dies 30 years ago. Her health has been great up until the last 2 years. She had a heart attach the day before she turned 100. We had to put her into assisted living at the age of 100 and they “kicked her out” because she kept wandering at night and would walk out of the facility setting off alarms. She would wander away from the facility in the late afternoons and get lost. (The assisted living she was in was a limited staffed facility and did not have a locked unit) We have moved her to a nursing home that has an assisted living level that does have the capability of monitoring that she does not wander and get lost. Recently they have been taking her out for rides in the car and going to parades. Now she is becoming angry because she wants to go home. (home to her is her home she sold 40 years ago). It is becoming very difficult for me to handle her anger, when we have always been her advocate for her and her helper. She has no family, no nieces, nephews anyone to help her so we must continue. I think my visits to the home are reminding her of her old place she lived and it is causing her more anxiety. Do I discontinue to visit her? We love her dearly and take care of her the best we can. We are not her blood relatives but we are the only family she has. Her attorney has looked for someone related and there is no one. She made my husband and I her power of attorney when she became ill on her 100th birthday. Up to that date she had never been hospitalized and only took a baby aspirin a day her entire life. It is very difficult to see her mind go. Her general physical health is very good. One other change is she has started to carry a teddy bear around everywhere she goes and she is now trying to feed it real food. This began approx 3 months ago.

  8. Luke says

    My mother has started to display many of the above mentioned symptoms.she accuses my niece of stealing from her. she swears my daughter is engaged to be married. has fierce hatred for my sister inlaw. with the onset of nightfall she becomes angry at the smallest of things, wanders upstairs where she could fall. she seems to focus most of her anger towards my sister and Brother who are her main care providers. There is one difference she doesnt seem to want anyone around ? is this out of the norm.

  9. mary says

    I have the distinct pleasure and responsibility of watching a friends mother several days a week.
    She is 93 and still in it…!!
    I am going to try and make some cookies or bake in the evenings when I am there and see if this perks her up. I think the loss of one sense can be made up for by sparking up another.
    I am praying for more’s about all I can do and it seems to really help.
    Thanks, mary

  10. judy hull says

    my mom had. heart attack in July, she was in 2 convelesent homed and she was not eating, telling strange storeys etc. she has been home now since sept and was doing good with a cna 7 days ask 10 hrs a day. as of yest. she has been very agitated confused and anxious. I think she night have a uti. she was prescribed ativan 2 days ago and has gotten worse. can someone give me dome suggestions please!! thank you god bless you all!! Judy

  11. judy hull says

    just got back from my moms dr. he said she has vascular dementia. can anyone tell me about this please..!!! she also has had a heart attack, which within two months was walking but has had 3 or more uti’s. shes not the vibrant spunky mom I use to have but I am blessed to have her at all. She has been pacing confused and irritable more now than in July. any input would be helpful. thank you, God bless!!! judy hull

  12. Gladys says

    My grandmother who is 83 years old has in the past couple of weeks begun to talk about another home that she says she has and wants to go to. She lives in her own home with my great aunt. My mother has been taking my grandmother to the doctor and caring for her and recently hired a lady to be there during the day to help out with my grandmothers personal needs as my grandmother cannot walk.

    As I mentioned, my grandmother has been talking about a house she wants to. No one knows about this house. My grandmother has lived in her present home, which she built, for about 30 years. She does not recognize her home anymore. At first we would answer “what house are you talking about” or “there is no other house” because we did not know what what she was talking about. She began to feel that we all thought something was wrong with her. We have always talked to her in a respectful and caring manner. Now we agree with her and when she asks to go to the other house, we tell her ok, but right now it is too cold to go out. She even asked me what was the reason she was here at this house. I answered, “grandma, this is your house”. Three days ago she became upset that no one would take her to her other house and was sad. Of course we do not want to see her like this. We have tried saying to her that everything she needs is here at this house and there is nothing over in the other house. We even tried telling her that the lady who takes care of her during the day comes to this house and she would get lost if we sent her to the other house. Can anyone offer any suggestions on how to answer her?

    Thank you,

  13. kelly says

    my mother in law just had hip replacement surgery eleven weeks ago .the gave her oxycontin for a pain killer my husband and i not very happy about it. but she is showing almost all of the symptoms of sundowners . she refers to a fourth woman and at night there is little man sitting in the corner sticking his tongue out. she decorated the house for christmas but dosen’t remember it.i’m not quite sure if it is the drugs or if it is something else. she also is up all night pacing she has mood changes she has a lot of the symptoms but is it the oxycontin or could it be dementia? i would appreciate some feed back.

  14. javabean says

    My Dad is 91 and is getting more and more confused. He is getting very rude and paranoid. He tells me that his dreams feel so real and he wakes up but is still in a dream state. His mood changes like the wind. One minute he seems fine and the next minute he is is filled with fear. He has plenty of money but constantly is in fear about his money. He looks at his watch every few minutes and as soon as he is somewhere he has anxiety about leaving. He is in a constant state of anxiety. I find it very difficult to be around him. I feel guilty for feeling this way but I know I have to take care of myself. My mother died four years ago and I have been the daughter to handle everything for him. He is still driving and I am very worried about this. There have been several incidents. I have tried to talk to his doctor about his nervous condition to see if there was a medication that would help but his doctor said my Dad is fine, the doctor will not listen. I noticed his condition seems worse later in the day. Morning time seems to be the best for him. He lives in independent living in a senior place. He refuses to cook for himself and complains about the food there. He eats lots of his meals out at restaurants. He found a lady where he lives that seems willing to cook and talk with him. He wants to be served. I am worried about his future with his nervousness getting worse. Does anyone here have any tips for me? I am his POA.

    • Jane says

      Hi Javabean,

      When my dad (88) started having problems, he was examined and put on anti-depression meds with a sleeping aid for his sundown symptoms. I would check in your area for an Alzheimer’s group or the department of aging. They have resources and can lead you to doctors that can help with your dad.

  15. Aimee says

    Hi I think that my grandfather has sundown symptons. On dec 11 2011 he had no haertbeat and not breathing called the emts the brought him back to life and was in the icu and they did this thing where the cooled his body down slowly then warmed him up slowly. so once he started to wake up and get more active the night nurse said that he was be coming combative and was trying to get out of bed and they gave him hadol and didnt tell use so we had no idea what was going on with him he wont talk couldnt swallow anymore with out it going donw the wrong tube he would look at you but be looking right thru you!!! its was scary!!!!! so now he is at another hospital and no talking better and is getting to eat some ice chips but he is starting to act up at night he gets mad tried to pull his tubes out last night my dad stayed the night with him he said he was talking about the dog in the corner and just a bunch of other crazyy stuff ive tired to tell my grandma about sundowners. also he does not have alzheimers i just dont know what to do

  16. carolyn byrge says

    my mother-in-law is 89 she will be 90 in August , she is in the nurseing home not because of this but simply because her daughter became bedfast and she could not take care of herself, and they have lived together all her life, daughter never married very big now over 500 lbs, to make a long story short a couple weeks ago my mother in law started at night said they were kids in her room she wouldnt stay in the bed and had fallen a couple weeks before and cracked her wrist so to be safe we had a bed alarm put on her, we are afraid if she falls again that she may break a hip as she has old aruther real bad, i had never heard of this until a cousin which is her neice & a nurse told me to look this up all the symptoms i have read is just what she is doing, she has a memeory that is better than mine and this is the first signs she has had , they have her on zyprexa an only for a couple days but it is taking a toil on me i have health problems and she is in another county 27mile away i feel bad because i cant go to see her & feel bad because she wont come home with me i have never delt with anything like this so i am really stressed. any suggestions you ca give would be appreciated Carolyn

  17. terry g says

    My siblings and I are dealing with many of the symptoms I have been reading about here. My Mother is 82 and in early December we found that her forgetfulness was accelerating. She has had mild dementia for a few years. When my Dad was living he covered a lot for her, so we are still learning about a lot of this. She has had a couple of UTI’s which are devastating to her. The anxiety and dementia become paranoia and fear. She does not eat as she should and staying hydrated is pretty much impossible. She refuses to drink and eats a few bites of anything. She over indulges in M&M’s and other sweets, but still not enough to nourish her.
    A couple of weeks ago she had to have surgery for a large abdominal hernia. The hour surgery became more than 3 hours under anesthesia and her personality has still not returned. Before the surgery we were taking turns staying with my mother in her home, but it was becoming increasingly exhausting and stressful for everyone to be in and out there. My sister would have moved in but could not bring her dogs with her to my mother’s community. No dogs allowed. I also have dogs and could not bring them with me. I live the farthest, about an hour away. I would leave on Thursday morning and not return home until Friday afternoon sometimes and be back and forth in between for doctor appointments etc. My aunts were on the “schedule” for care as well as caregivers in between.
    After surgery she went to a well respected rehab but regretfully the care was poor. We took her home to my sister’s house where she still is, but the symptoms listed above seem to be happening every day.
    Mom does okay through the day. She misses her house but sometimes seems to understand that she needs to be safe with my sister now. However, after supper, she begins to deteriorate. Trying to coax her to stay up longer has been unsuccessful. She insists on going to bed by around 9 each night. What follows is a nightmare for my sister who is the primary caregiver. Mom calls out, wails and cries, mumbles and talks for hours. She was given Oxycontin for pain after the surgery. We are hoping to wean her from this med as soon as possible to see if her symptoms improve. She uses melatonin, xanex, namenda and B12. We plan to up the B12 as that is safe to do. A sleep aid would help, but over the counter sleep aids basically have the active ingredient for benadryl in them and because Mom refuses to drink more and eat a little better, even if she sleeps, she wakes up shaking and anxious in the mornings. It is devastating to bear witness to the loss of quality of life in my mother. My mother was a strong woman. She raised us with stern, love and respect. I miss the woman she was and hope that I will carry and pass on the memories of her extraordinary life.

  18. reena says

    God bless each and everyone of you. May God be with you all and your loved ones. My great grandmother and I mean that literally! She passed april 18 th 2012. She passed at home on hospice. She had been home from a rehabilitation center for less then a month. She was there because she had broken her shin. At that time she had been staying at my mothers for almost a year! She before he moved in with my mom she was alone at her own home. Due to her having dementia, she easing the same and couldint do the same things as before. You guys I really Iam having a hard time. Sh has been a mother figure to me my whole life. I will be 27 years old. Before my great grandmother who has just had a birthday mar h 5 th, was 87 years old at the time of her passing. Before my granny went to the hospital for her leg. We knew she easing the due to dementia, but I believe when she was in the hospital for her leg she got so heavily sedated she easing eating.. or easing thinking to. I knew its apart of dementia buut it all happened so fast… I didn’t mention she had gain green on her left foot. Her toes except for two, and the top of her foot. I know god has full control over this happening. He really gave me peace during this strenuous time. I really could be taking this terribly. Wrong!!! I also know things. Oils have really been bad. That’s how I know god was and is this all the way because I was able to write her eulogy, dress and do her make up. The night she passed it was around 3:30/4pm. She was on hospice so she was at home. We wanted the family to / be able to spend those those last intimate moments with her. The funeral directors/ coroner came to take my granny @ 10pm. We I didn’t leave to 3am. You know a women had to come and prenounce my sweet great granny dead. It was a m moment in time that stood still!! For me. That same women gave us the opportunity to wash her a nice (wipe down). Motioned her down, comes an brushed her hair. I cut three lock from the middle of her hair. I gavetf one to two of my sisters, kept one for myself. Although it hurted me, she didont know what was going on! I believd had her spirit mind and body forever… there are alit if typos. Iam on a touch screen its antic up.. thank you guys I really needed to get that off me heart.

  19. jackie says

    my dad was just 64 on thursday im worried sick abt this confusion it seems to be when he goes into hospital he gets this he has been going in and out for 4yr now,but everytime he goes in it gets worse,he was always a hard working man who enjoyed a drink after work,but in the last 4yr he hasnt worked had to take retirement due to his health,i go up every ngt to see him and he dosnt know where he is he tells me he been here and there all over working and been at pub etc,the other week he didnt even know me which was quiet hard but thats past for time being,hospital just mentioned this illness to me tngt its been realy intresting reading your stories i just hope my gets the help and diagnosis he needs…thank you for sharing your stories with me x

  20. Cindy says

    I’m the only caregiver to my mother, who has been living w/me and my husband, for a little over a year. She has all of a sudden started with what I thought was fake anxiety for attention. I have tried to get her help. It’s like hitting your head against a brick wall. I can’t get her to go to the dr to get some kind of help because she won’t go and I can’t get her admitted to the hospital to get a dx or treated. What has any one else done to get help for their loved one? We were given the name of a geriatric psychiatrist that may be able to help. How do I get her there?

  21. javabean says

    It is very difficult as I know. You may have to make the doctor appointment and don’t tell her until a few days before. Then just remember you are now the parent and she is your child. The roles have changed, hard as it is to do. Just be firm, loving and reassuring to your mom. Help is on the way. Be brave and be positive. My prayers go with you.

  22. Tracy says

    Good Evening All My Mom Is82 To Be And She Got Terribly Ill With Pneumonia &It Was So Bad That This Sundowners Syndrome Isn’t My Mom she So Lost&She Says&Feels Shes Alone&Why This Happened To Her&Theres No Hope,Her Sickness Started Bladder Infection&When they Checked It Was So Bad,I believed It Affected Her Mind More So Shes Smart Woman&Caregiver Who Lost Her Husband On 4th Wed.Aniv. Passed April 3rd,2008&Then Lost Her Patient Then She Had Her Last Unemployment In Feb. y ????????Is Is there A Medicine That will Help&Is This Caused If A Person Even Had any Sign Of Small Tiny Stroke Or Was It From Pneumonia,Cause She Keeps Saying Shes going To Die,Or Is This Part Of The Diseased I Cry&I Know Not Good To But Its Hard Please Help me On Answers

  23. says

    The one thing that I would suggest to all of you is to have your loved one evaluated by a Geropsychiatric physician…This was the best thing we did for both our mothers and our health. He finely tuned her on Seroquel and Celexa and she is very content and easy to reason with. Prior to the medications she was hallucinating, paranoid and became very difficult to care for. Now we are dealing with my 96 year old father developing dementia. We may soon need to get him evaluated because the evenings are bringing out a side of him that we have never seen before…Take time for your self and accept any offers of help that are offered …. eventually things even out and life will get back to normal.

  24. Regina says

    I have been reading all the posts. My Mom has severe senile dementia. She also gets confused and talks to herself at times. Lately she talks about her mother and father which both are dead. She has been having pain at first it was in her front lower left side we went to ER and they found nothing sent us home with loratab. She got up an fell in the hall flat her back the next weekend another ER visit they found nothing again and was sent home with pain meds. Three days later I couldnt get her out of bed for her yelling she was hurting in her back another ambulance ride to the ER still found nothing pain meds and sent home. They did mention it could be her dementia. Has anyone had this problem she still yells at times and I mean yells in pain. We had taken her off the meds as they make her lifeless and have to keep her in the bed she really gets out of her head. Now I am giving her one at bedtime hoping it will help her sleep and not yell at night. I have had three nights now hardly no sleep. With or without meds she yells in pain its not all the time. She can go a few days and here we go again with the yelling… She says I jst dont know the pain she is in. I jst dont know what to do we have a doctor appt. Any suggestions this is sooo new to me…

  25. Lola says

    My mother is 99 years old. She has a clear mind and does well for her age. The past few months she has started accusing her neighors of getting a key to her house and coming in when she is gone and hiding gardening tools in a box in a closet where she kept some of her gardening tools.She said there are a lot more tools in that box now and most of them aren’t her tools. She even told him she knew he stole the tools and was hiding them in her house so he wouldn’t get caught with them. He didn’t know what she was talking about and this naturally upset him.What she is accusing them of is not rational and makes no sense. She also can’t hear and when her Dr. called to tell her that her urine test came back okay, she decided the Dr. was mad at her because she accidentally may have said to the Dr. that the speciman was taken to his office at 5pm (After he closed) She heard the Dr. say her test was clean and clear and okay…but she insisted that the Dr. was mad at her even though what she was saying made no sense. Her doctor is a kind, gentle, soft spoken person and would never, nor has ever, gotten mad at her about anything. She will not listen to reason once she gets things like this into her head. There is no way to get her to let it go and she certainly would never admit that what she thinks could ever be wrong. What is causing her to be like this so all of a sudden.

  26. Susan says

    Even though my mom is 89 she is very sharp and other than some forgetfulness and minor memory issues, has been fine mentally up until about 3 weeks ago. My dad died Sept. 30 last year after suffering from PSP and had become total nursing home care. My mom had been very impatient with him and before he went into the nursing home, would constantly scold him when he would fall and such as if he were doing this to just aggravate her. She has done well since his death and lives alone next door to me and other than spinal stenosis and a lot of back pain, does very well. Now out of the blue about 3 weeks ago she tells me that Daddy is coming back at night and she hears a car outside that must bring him and pick him up. She is adamant it is him although she says he won’t speak and she doesn’t get a good look at his face. This has happened almost every night except for maybe 2 or 3 out of 3 weeks. She has been worried about where he is staying and leaves his clothes out if he needs them and has begun putting a blanket on his bed (they slept in separate rooms). She swears one night she got up and found him in his bed with the blanket covering him as she said it was kinda cool in the house but he got up and left she guessed and folded the blanket back up. I thought at first I had her realizing that this was a recurring dream and yes, maybe Daddy’s spirit could come back and assure her he was ok but it was not physically him. Well now she gets rather angry when I suggest he is not coming back and even though I try to reason with her and all of what she has always believed as a Christian, it doesn’t matter. She is so lucid about everything else but this is really getting worse. I have an appointment with her Dr. Monday to check if any of her meds could have caused this although she is not on anything new or maybe has some kind of occult infection such as UTI that is asymptomatic. When my husband & I left her house this evening she told him to get in the golf cart around 11:00 tonite and ride in her driveway and he would see the car that she thinks must bring him. I asked her tonite why if he was coming and waking her up why she didn’t go in his room and demand to know why he was doing this. She said she didn’t want to bother him because he didn’t want to talk. I reminded her that his feelings were never an issue before he died, she would tell him what she thought regardless of what his wishes may be. I’m wondering if maybe she has some deep seated unresolved guilt issues that she would never in a million years exhibit about things she said during his progressive debilitation or what. She has never been a nurturer or one that felt anything other than she was always in the right and justified in her behavior. This has just really confused me as I would expect her to be mentally foggy during the day. The only thing is that when this first started she would get confused asking me about different places Daddy might have been and when he was there such as a hospital and her reasoning on this line of questioning was her trying to figure out where he was staying. This all doesn’t really sound like Sundowner’s but whatever it is, it pretty much follows a routine most every night and is something that she is beginning to feel is predictable every night. I’m guessing I will soon have to start spending the night over there but as independent as she is otherwise, I hate to start this. She has always been the personality type to never need reassurances from anyone as she never gave them but she did make the statement tonite that maybe I should stay over there but not in the way of she would like for me to but to prove to me that he is back. I know it sounds selfish to not want to start staying overnight but she is so demanding and can be hard to deal with even before this started. I guess I’ll just have to see what the MD says although we live in a very small community and I don’t have alot of confidence that this is going to give me any answers unless some testing shows something obvious. Interestingly enough, she doesn’t want to tell anybody about this even though she has always been one to tell everything she knew to anyone so to me that would seem to indicate that it is not reasonable. Don’t know, anyone got a clue??

  27. Julie says

    Get rid of all the meds and try 3 meletonin from the health food shop everynite 1/2 hour before bed. It was the only thing that makes my mother 90 with severe Dementia sleep, replace the blockers, thinners, statins, pain killers and Athritis medication with turmeric, Krill oil, cod liver oil, vitamin B spray, Alpha limphatic Acid, COQ10, honey, apple cider vinager, cloudy apple juice, prune juice and beetroot juice. Research all the meds side effects anyway, improve balance, mobility, constipation, Athritis, eye site, tinnivitus. Feel 40 years younger, cure the blocked sinuses with cyclamen flower. Unfortunately the damage done by over prescription of medications has caused the permanent brain damage which I can’t fix. I only kept a baby Asprin and betamin on her med list. Two years later guess what she didn’t die without the oh so necessary drugs. It was a slow process of reduction of meds ( drug addiction things like things biting her etc) and research but please don’t stop your warfarin then blame me if you die. However question your health professionals and research my suggested health shop alternatives.

  28. Catherine F says

    My mother in law has been diagnosed with Dementia and her mental capacity went down hill rather quickly. She was living with us up until August but her night time wandering got to be too much and she is in a nursing home now. She has a cellphone and calls me or my husband on average 25 times a day sometimes starting at 4 in the morning. Her chief complaint is that she is constipated and she needs help and can I bring her a suppository, the nursing home does not like to use them and she says milk of magnesia makes her constipation worse. I am having trouble deciding if the constipation is real or imagined. As long as I have known her she has used glycerin suppositories but the nursing home staff says she goes regularly even though the messages that she leaves me say she hasn’t been for several days. In all I have read, constipation is a common ailment in people with dementia so I am concerned now that maybe she is telling the truth and the nursing home staff is not paying close enough attention. Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions? We are meeting with the nursing home soon to update her care plan, but I want to go prepared. Any help would be appreciated

  29. mary says

    I hope I’m in the correct forum to seek advice. My Father is in a wonderful nursing home for the past 2 years(advance alzheimer’s, blind and parkinson’s, lost his ability to walk. My mother took care of him at home for years until she was unable to. Both of my parents have had major health problems for many years and I have been the one to always care for them, numerous hospital visits, stopping by their home weekly to check on them. I married young (22) and left my parents home. I have to adult children, 20 and 22. My mother in my opinion has always had an an anxiety problem and I have begged her to seek help for about 15 years. She refuses. I have explained to her that it is not good for her health, blood pressure, heart. My childhood was good but my mother is a yeller, slams doors and has never displayed cooping skills. I have a older brother that had a very bad drug problems and has taking advantage of both my parents his entire life and is no longer in the picture and was never there to help me with both of my parents. I was a good daughter, always did as I was asked growing up. As a result of my divorce, loosing my job, my home I recently had no other choice but to move back into my mothers home with my boys. The home is big enough so this did not cause a problem for privacy for all of us. For 20 years I have never asked for any help from my parents before this. I decided to go back to school to advance my career and have been looking for employment every day. I explained to my mother that i would pay for all the food my boys and I need, I pay the cable bill each month and as soon as I’m back to work will pay rent to stay here until I can move out again. I clean up the house daily, offer to cook her dinner, do her yard work and the boys and I stay out of her way to keep her routine so she feels comfortable We stay out of her way, we are quiet. My only request that i asked her when i moved in was please do not yell and scream at me. I do not raise my voice at her. We are both adults, other then that one request we do things on her terms and i am fine with that.She still feels that i am taking over home. I stay in my room and study and am quiet. Once in a while my boys will have a friend over and are very respectful when they do and she gets anger. she yells at me about it, not her grandsons and then forgets yelling at me. Over the last few months of living back home, i have noticed that she is very forgetful, not paying bills on time, looses her belongings and has become nasty and yells and screams at me, erratic mood swings. She talks to herself a lot, when i ask her if she is ok, she snaps at me and tells me shes fine.She feels that her neighbors are out to get her at times, they are not as far as I can see, I have offered to help but she thinks i’m trying to control her. I have asked her if she wants to see a doctor and she refuses. My oldest son has even sat down and very nicely suggested that it may be good to seek medical advice cause he has noticed a change as well. She will not allow me to ask any family members or our priest for advice. I know that soon enough she is going to need my help even more but she is wearing me down. I try to have calm conversations with her, she just storms off, saying that she is just a stupid old lady and is crazy. She said that i cant wait for her to get out of her home, she told me to go to hell. None of this is true on our end. I have told her that we are grateful that she took us in. We have never treated her that way and never tell her she is stupid or crazy. She asks me when do i plan on moving out, i have no where to go. My boys father have walked out of their lives so he is not an option for them. I am struggling in school because of all the stress at home and am thinking about dropping out because I cant concentrate on my studies. I understand that my mother must be scared seeing my father with alzheimer’s and may be in denial. I feel so bad that I had to come back and live with her. I thought i would be able to help her and she help me when times got hard for both of us. That’s what families do. When i asked my mother to make a list of rules in her home for me and the boys to make things better she asked me if i planned on taking her to court…I was so upset by this statement and simple told her that I was just trying to make things better for everybody, mostly her. I’m not sure if she is exhibiting early sings of dementia. I would never put her in a nursing home and told her that i would take care of her. any advice would be helpful.

    • Victoria Grantham says

      Hi Mary,
      You really need to find a way to get her in to see a doctor and be evaluated for dementia/alzheimer’s. She’s exhibiting many of the signs/symptoms and may become a threat to herself or others at some point. Her paranoia is a classic sign, as are the mood swings. If she does have alzheimer’s, you won’t be able to reason with her in a conversation. The brain becomes incapable of reason, unable to do simple math such as balancing a check book, and progressively forgetful. Good judgement will decline in areas of finance. In her more lucid moments, she’s probably all too aware that something is wrong and realizes that she’s forgetting things and misplacing things which will bring about fear, frustration, anger, and a feeling that she’s losing control of everything. Unfortunately, this may also make her much more resistant to seeking medical help. Depending on her stage of dementia, there are medications that may help to slow the progress of this disease. There are also medications that may level her mood swings out. Many times small doses of anti psychotic medications are used to help alleviate the symptoms of anger, depression, and sadness and to help with insomnia. I hope something here is useful for you. Best wishes.

  30. Mona says

    I am in USA and working in a medical field. I grew up in India and we don’t much have this. Mian reason because we in Indian culture join family system and parents live with mainly with son and his family . since it’s join family system and due to grand kids and all relatives visit all the time it is very live.I been here from past 25 year and now we will be leaving USA due to all this problem. me and my husband both are in 50’s and don’t want to die in nursing home.
    If you start join family system it is best for grand kids because they learn how to take care of elderly. my MIL is 90 and very happy and we all have family dinner together. she always lived with us.

  31. J Hamp says

    My 88 year old father has been doing some strange things lately, as in using household items such as the tv remote to try to change the wall clock time or to turn up his hearing aid volume. He has also began to show an inability to balance his check book and pay bills on time. Should we be concerned that this could be sun-downers? we are trying to convince him to see the family doctor.

    • Mona Ervin says

      J Hamp-get him to a doctor as soon as possible. Even if you have to lie to him, or force him to go. If my brothers and I had not just talked about getting our Mother in for full check up, we may have prevented a major stroke that has left her with no memory that last longer then 5 minutes, depression, and sever agitation. Physically she does well, even remembers to wash her hands after going to the bathroom, but had to be told to pull her slacks up first. Mini-strokes can cause a lot of changes and the only way to know is to have test run when normal for them goes astray. Had we forced Mother to go to be tested a year ago, we would have know she had already had a stroke, and probably several mini strokes. Your comment about him balancing his checkbook really hit me. Had I been paying more attention I would have realized my Mother’s handwritting had changed, she spent hours trying to balance her check book, and she was very happy, very depressed, or angry at everything. This may not be the format for this but check the mail you father is getting. In one week Mother received over 140 pieces of mail-6 were bank statements and utility bills. The rest were for products that she never took, wouldn’t wear, would never use, charities and government agendas asking for donations (way too many she sent money too) –to the tune of over $3,000 in two years–money she needs now for her care. God bless your Dad and you.

  32. Glenna says

    My ex and I live together (married 21 yrs. divorced for 22). He is 79 and has Alzheimer’s. I have told him to talk to me in the morning, when he is more rational. Around 2 or 3 P. M., and the rest of the evening, if I try to discuss something important during this time, he seems distant and it’s almost like I speak a foreign language and he doesn’t understand me. .We have one car and I told him I would need it at 3 P. M. tomorrow to attend our grandson’s family counseling session. It’s every Friday at 4 P.M. He got angry and said , “you’re throwing me under the bus, for Dane.” He is very controlling, or tries to be. He over-dramatizes the least intrusion into his daily routine. He is extremely jealous, even of the time I spend with all 3 of our grandchildren, and I don’t see them very often. One of the main reasons I agreed to live together, strictly platonic, was to be better off, financially, to help the grandkids and to help him. He only has one brother, but they aren’t close. I will tough it out, with God’s help, to the bitter end. I was an R. N. and will do all I can to keep him at home! I sure would like it if he were more mellow.

  33. Judi says

    My mother is 95. She had to move out of her home because of Hurricane Sandy and has been living with me. I noticed her fear of being left alone in my home although she was capable of taking care of herself. It was tough because mom didn’t want to go with me if I went out but she also did not want to stay home alone. She has recently been in the hospital for 12 days and has not been in rehabilitation for 10 days. During the hospitalization she became fearful of being alone and of the dark. One of the nurses mentioned Sundowners Syndrome and it immediately clicked she is now a classic example. I went to the hospital and now go to the rehab facility every evening from about 6:00 to 8:30 when she is in bed and has been given a sedative. I am beginning to wonder if I am doing the right thing by making her rely on me being in the room.

  34. Mario C. 32 says

    My grandma is 81 yrs. old and is the baby of her 8 siblings and also the last one, After loosing her 84 yr. old sister in Jan. 18 2011, and 83 yr. old in April 7, 2012. I started to noticed some changes like she was talking more about her last sister cause she would talk to her on the phone everyday and said she would catch her self dialing her number a couple of times, and tell me little story’s. I didn’t think any thing of it except that maybe that’s her way of couping with it, mind you, my grandma raised from age 12-19, so we are very close to where we always speak on the phone and I try to see her twice a week when possible and she just lives on the other side of town.. I want to say about 3 weeks ago I had just got off work like around 11:30 pm. went home and no later than a few mins. got a phone call from my grandma saying to go pick her, I asked what was wrong she said that she had fell asleep at 10:00 and had turned her body to the other side and had opened her eyes and saw an ugly big head right be side her looking right at her and she had yelled and got out of the room calling out for her mom, then calling my phone. I then drove there and she wanted to leave but we stood there and talked about it, I went in her room and she showed me where she seen it I walked over there and didn’t see anything but for some strange reason I got chills, and all the hairs on my face, arm, were at attention never had that before and told her, she seen all my up, went to the livingroom and talked somemore and read her the bible and praying with her, then telling her it was the devil trying to scare her, she agreed after an hour trying to get her to go to sleep she staid up the whole night and fell asleep at 7:30 am. To make a long story short ever since then I’ve been going to pick her up to sleep at my home and taking her back to hers in the morning. took her to her doct. and was percribed meds. to help her sleep…..

  35. says

    I just took my 84 year old dad to the doctor yesterday because he is dropping things suddenly and has been seeing ‘demoms’ as soon as he wakes up. The doctor sent him to the hospital for observation and my sis in law said that a doctor came in right after I left and said

  36. says

    oops, sorry…said he has early dementia and cant drive or live alone any more..I feel like Ive been hit by a truck. I know the visions scare him but I didnt expect this- he gets along fine.

  37. Sally Lemons says

    I think that my Mother-in-law is starting with sundowners. All of your suggestions and comments have been very helpful but I am still having trouble dealing with this…..she is so alert in the morning! I love this woman so much and this is breaking my heart!!!

  38. Kim says

    I live with my parents and my father is 75 he is the youngest of 4 and his last siblings funeral was last night. He was not close to his family as he got older.. My father is a strong(tough) funny man but never to social. Never mean to me or my siblings or my mother. But he is old fashion somewhat. Well at 6am today i went upstairs and heard yelling my dad was yelling at my mom to get him paper, my mom said here and i guess handed to him (they were in their bedroom door shut light on). I stood there as he was cursing at her about giving him paper, and then she was saying just lay down and he would yell i dont wanna f’n lay down, why dont you listen and just give me the paper, so she got up got another piece n handed to him and he was like what do i want this for, and she said I dont know and he said wtf is wrong with you why wont you give me the paper, and she said what paper what do you want it for and he started swearing at her again about oh f your paper I’ll stick it up your A**.. ok sounds horrible, but that is not my father.. My parents argued may be 2 times in my entire life. and it was never yelling just silence. This morning he sounded drunk, BUT DEFINITELY was not.. My mother has always done for him and good to him, it went both ways, they played the husband and wife part perfect. He eventually came out the room I hid lol.. And then my mom got him in the bed but he was still agitated, but quieter. and then fell asleep I guess. I am so scared. if anyone can help.

  39. kmallah says

    hello friends i am a 32 years old female having sunset related fear and depression problem from my childhood from where i recall ,i am not heaving any other major health problem and living a normal active life -please guide if you have any thought information for this problem

  40. Arlene says

    My 76 year old,husband has been diagnosed with sundowners dementia .he is mostly ok during the day vut wonders all nite.gets I to trouble pulling things apart like bedding closets,drawers and a few other weird things .then doesn’t remember .im afraid he might hurt himself or,turn stove on or some other dangerous thing. He is presently in the hospital and they observing himand see if they ca get the bottom of,it’s and mayve find something to make him sleep Thur the nite. Did I do,the right thing by bringing him the hospital .they think he mists crisis stage and should be in a long term care facility whar advice could you give me.

  41. Sherry says

    Over the last year we noticed subtle changes in my mom she lives with us. It started with leaving the water running. She seemed to be more confused in the morning and then she would be ok. A year ago she stopped driving and volunteering. She has refused to go to a doctor. She was still able to do lite cooking and went to the restroom on her own. I would help her in and out of the tub for her baths.
    In the last 2 weeks however she has gotten considerably worse and I am now looking for a doctor in our town. She has had to start warring adult diapers, It is a battle to get her to eat, She is easily distracted and finds it difficult to put sentences together. And this morning she told me she could not remember my name but knew I was her daughter. This is devastating to me it breaks my heart to see her like this.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated. What to expect from a doctor? She has always told me that she does not want to be put in a home for the elderly. She was a nurse for 45 years and she saw all the good the bad and the ugly in those places. I however know I am not a caregiver and as she worsens I am not sure what I can do. I love her dearly she is 80 and I had so hoped that she would live out her years healthy and happy. She has only Medicare and no insurance I don’t even know if they would cover home care. Currently my husband is unemployed and is home during the day and I come home for lunch everyday. But once he goes back to work we are going to need outside help.

  42. cindy says

    my 87 year old mom lives with me and has dementia, and parkinsons so she can’t walk alone without falling. She sleeps most of day and keeps me up all night, sundowning, hallucinating, having anxiety attacks, etc. When i fall asleep she gets up and falls. i have cameras, bed alarms, she is on seraquil, mellatonin etc. during day she is extremely manipulative, needy, demanding, etc. she is driving me crazy, making me resent her, and basically i have no life, and my marriage is suffering, as is my ability to be a good mother. i don’t know what to do. she is already on hospice, sitters 3 days/week, thats all i can afford. she acts up mostly with me, so the sitters get her good behavior. i am going nuts and don’t know what to do. i have no siblings, no help.

  43. Christine says

    Listen, may God bless you all and the parent you are trying to take care of. My grandmother is 102 and she is the same. She also only has 2 volumes 39 and 130. The family wanted me to watch her so they could run their own lives and most of then live in the area my mom comes twice a a year and when she does I just stay in my room and her my mom get yelled at. and when she leaves, my grandmother would go back doing the work she did all her adult life and I had learned that I dare not try to help unless asked. ell now everything is upside down About 8 months ago she got two sores on her left leg, one from scratching and the other from a fall. Now she has to walk with a walker and sleep in a chair in the tv room because her leg hurts worse when she lies in bed.Now, she wants me to help and is grateful. The reason I agreed to come here is that she was the person the most my corner while growing up. I love helping her but I feel so bad because she was so independent and now she is in a walker. So now I do the laundry, cook,clean . I go to college and now I come home right after class. I move the kitchen chairs at night so she has a wide path We watch wheel of fortune every night and play cards on Monday evening Sh is almost completely deaf so she will watch visual shows with me such as Cops, The Amazing Race and Antique Road Show. I love taking care of her and probably will until she dies or is put in a nursing home though anyone thinking of that has to go through me for that. I paray in The Name of Jesus that I will be up to the job and that the Lord will bless her and all of you and your relitives, Amen

  44. Travis says

    Hi , I don’t know if anyone else has this problem with the medication ZYPREXA. I have bipolar depression. Whenever I have taken this medication zyprexa, I frequently had the symptoms of confusion and paranoia and sometimes delusional thinking as well as hallucinations just around sundown. It is a very scary feeling and happened almost every evening when I was on zyprexa. This medication would knock me out like no sleeping pill could ever and made me feel like i weighed 10x my own weight. I am 33 years old. Currently I am only on Abilify and I am so thankful I don’t have the sundowner’s symptoms anymore after discontinuing the drug zyprexa.

  45. Christina says

    My grandmother who I live with is 93 years old had a happy , cheerful live the she started going blind first in one eye then both in her earlier 80’s , then we discover she had Alzheimer’s ,dementia, and now sundown it’s hard because we don’t know what to do when she start hallucinating. But we’re carrying on.

  46. Debbie says

    My Mom 76 has a major bleed in her left front side of the brain. and then month later she has another one on the same side..just a little behind the first spot. They didn’t need to do surgery on the second one, but we almost lost her twice. She walks, talks and moves just fine. but her memory and Mom aren’t the same. She is having Sundowners symptoms she had them every night in the hospital. She has been home now for about 2 months and they are starting up again. Is it normal for them to come and go? You can see the fear in eyes when she tells she about them…I tell her just a sundowner and not to worry and try to remember that when you have one.. I don’t know else to say. She said, I think I’m going crazy:( Can anyone give any suggestions?
    Thanks and my thoughts go out all of you as we go through this with our parents. It’s so hard and so sad!

  47. Eric says

    My mom has been calling my brother and myself at odd hours! 2:30 3:00 5:00 in the morning talking nonsense and we didnt know where this came from! Asking when im coming up from the parking lot to see her in her apartment! She told my brother yesterday morning that me and my girlfriend were in the hallway laughing at her mocking her making fun of her then running away when she opened the door!But nobody is there when she opens the door! The girlfriend shes talking about and myself broke up 3 years ago! We went to visit her once and she all of a sudden brings her up! Mind you she lives 4 hours away from me! My brother and myself are going to get in touch with her doctor and tell her whats going on before we go visit her this weekend! Its scaring the shit out of us! Her mental state is fine when we talk to her during the day so shes not like this all the time and it only started about a week ago! Its like a light switch turning on and off!

  48. Ruth says

    Hello, I am a nurse and have cared for a man on Haldol and the Haldol was the cause of his hallucinations. Once he was off the med, he was alert. Ruth

  49. Glenna says

    I was a nurse for 26 years, now retired, and the first thing I wondered about, when I read your post, was, why would they do a knee replacement on an 89 year old? Secondly, it is not unusual for elderly surgical patients to become disoriented, post op. Sometimes it can be attributed to the anesthesia, sometimes just due to their age. I think as you age, you get accustomed to your rituals and the familiar, and this makes you feel secure. When something out of the ordinary happens, it sends some into a tail-spin.
    I live with my ex-husband, who is 78, and has Alzheimer’s. I can empathize with all of you! I am 66 and realize what a job I have ahead of me. He has been exhibiting Sundowner’s, especially since I got custody of our 15 year old grandson, who has ADHD. There are so many similarities in both of them. I have already told my grandson if he lays a hand on his Papaw, regardless of how threatening he may be toward him, I will have him sent to juvenile. I dread evening and nights! When my ex goes to bed, my grandson will sometimes go to the den to watch T.V. I have a T.V. also, but he enjoys the independence watching T.V. alone gives him. The first time he did this, my ex came storming into the den and demanded that our grandson leave his room (the den) and give him “his remote” . Our grandson became defiant and wouldn’t budge. I heard the angry voices and went to the den to see what was wrong. I couldn’t believe my ex was acting so immature, but being obstinent is par for our grandson. I finally got our grandson to leave the den and come to my room and my ex went to bed, with his remote. He got into the habit of taking the remote to his bedroom when he went to bed, so our grandson couldn’t watch T.V. My grandson actually acts more mature, at times, than my ex. I repeatedly ask my ex to leave our grandson alone and I will take care of him myself. I have custody of him, my ex does not. But, because of his Sundowners, it’s almost as if he turns into Mr. Hyde. He also tries to do everything our grandson does; he jumped in the pool while holding a beach ball, like our grandson did, he walks around in his boxers, like our grandson does, he flexes his muscles (which are non-existent), like our grandson does, he keeps a record of how much they weigh each week, my ex is losing weight, and he chides our grandson for not losing weight. (he sometimes posts a lower weight, than he actually weighs. We ask him to weigh in front of us so we would know for sure.) It might seem funny if it weren’t so sad.
    Regardless, I am here for the long haul, for both of them.
    My ex and I have been divorced for 22 years and were married for 21. He has only one brother, who is not married, and I feel like I need to be here for him. He asked me to come live with him and bought a house 2 years ago, which I wanted, so we could leave it to our 3 grandchildren to do what they want with it. We got our daughter when she was 9, ( I couldn’t have children). She was a joy to raise, but when she was first pregnant, she heard voices and was diagnosed as Bi-Polar w/schizoid affect, and this is a whole ‘nother story!
    I trust the Lord for my every breath, so whatever He allows, I know I can accomplish, as long as He is with me. Share your burden with the Lord and it will be lighter to bear. It is a comfort, but not any joy in, knowing I am not alone. Thank you all for your posts.

  50. KIM says

    the same thing happenend to my 75 year old mother. i was told it was from the anesthesia which turned out to be true. it took her brain 1-2 weeks to clear but she did recover completely from it. it might also be from the medicine they’re giving her. good luck!

  51. Theresa says

    Help…My mother is 81. I went to their home to visit my parents yesterday which isvery common. I walked in and was shocked at my mom’s behaviour. It wasn’t even her. My father is 82 and has his wits about him and I fear he has been trying to hide this from us. The first thing that came to mind was Se’s getting alzheimers. QUESTION….She has chronic pain and started taking morphine sulphate 2 days prior, could this be the problem? My dad says she has had some small episodes before but this just blew me away. Can anyone give me some advise? Thanks Theresa

  52. Theresa says

    Thanks, my mom is basically housebound unless someone takes her out, maybe a good thing. Very worried, it seems to have happened so quickly. She won’t even talk to Dr.s when we take her we have to speak for her, I don’t know why. I told my dad there is med. for alzheimers if that is what it is but he says she can’t be diagnosed because she will not talk to them.

  53. MeMe says

    It’s really very simple…
    just take the keys away, and then she can’t drive anymore.
    Then talk to someone about support for you, so that you can
    continue to do the right thing.

  54. Vickey says


    My mother has end stage stomach/lung cancer who has also just started taking the morphine sulphate for chronic pain. We’ve also been experiencing this same behavior and I have found, from her dr’s and the Hospice care folks that indeed the Morphine Sulfate will cause this type of behavior.

    As of yesterday we moved from the tablet to the liquid Morphine but this seems to have only made the problem worse. At this stage they’ve told me that the only other thing to give her would be DeLauded (sp) which will inch her closer to death with each dose.

    God Bless everyone here who is taking care of a terminal parent/relative. No one tells you the complete horror story you live with while caring for a dying loved one.

  55. Jane says

    Scott, I was just wandering if your mother got better?! Sometimes medications given in the hospital can mess a person up especially after surgery. Hop she got better : )

  56. Jane says

    The problem MeMe I have is that he calls a locksmith that makes him a key for his van. And to disable it, means he calls a tow truck for someone to come fix it! He understands he should not be driving, so he rarely will get in the van in the early hours (3 or 4)of the morning and go for a ride. I had left the van there because my sister drives him around and her car is old and not safe. But I realize that as he becomes more brave about driving that there is an increase in a accident happening. I have sent a letter to ask to revoke his license. I am not sure if he has gotten that letter yet. I hate to become his enemy! Any other suggestions of ways to get that done.

  57. Mona says

    I only wish meds were causing the sundowners with my 93 year old mother in law! Her personality did a flip right around the holidays and continues to get worse. She has no concept of time, we recently replaced all of her dial clocks with very LARGE digital wall clocks with p.m indicators, thinking this would help. But we find her sitting in her apartment just staring at the clock waiting for the digits to switch. The other day she was so confused about the p.m. dot that we had to hide it with tape that matched the color of the clock.
    She has always been such a sweet sweet woman. Now she is a vile monster after 3:00pm each day! She screams at everyone like something out of a horror movie. I think the paranoia is the worst. She is so suspecious of everyone, hiding things and accusing others of stealing them. She ransacs her own apartment and blames her care givers for the mess. She no longer recognizes her own handwriting. She writes ugly notes and then later thinks someone else wrote them about her.
    As I said, this is my mother-in-law. My husband, as wonderful as he is, is in denial. His father died after 10 years of Alzheimers. I know watching this happen to his mother is more than he can bare.
    The assisted living facility where she lives says she will be allowed to stay there as long as she doesn’t cause physical harm to herself or others. I fear she is moving over the line … Recently she threw/pushed her walker into one of the care givers when her yelling at them to leave her room wasn’t working. The care givers are supposed to ensure she takes her meds each evening, but with the sundowners, that is getting harder to accomplish.
    Most days we can hardly bring ourselves to answer the telephone, knowing its either my mother-in-law screaming about how much she hates one of her care givers, or else the care givers calling to tell us some horrible thing she has done.
    Reading all of these true stories of everyone’s experiencing lets me know that what we are going thru is very widespread and very real. Somehow I cannot find comfort in that. I wish the night mare would end.

  58. KIM OROPEZA says

    hello! i just read your comment about your mother and how namenda has helped her. what other medcines does she take? my mom has had depression her whole life. she’s a young 76. she was doing pretty good but started having paranoia, mood swings with fits of crying, so anxious, etc…. she was put on seroquel 250mg and for one week it was like my old mother came back. but after that all of the above symptoms came on and it seems to get a little worse each day. i was told today that she has severe dementia. he increased her seroquel…which i think makes her worse…to try to sedate her so we can keep her at home. she also takes effexor 75mg 3 times a day. i will never put my mom in a nursing home as she is the greatest mother in the world and my best friend. i guess i’m trying to find out if your mom takes anything else with the namenda.. sorry for writing so much. i’m just trying to accept her condition and feel so sad for her.

  59. KIM says

    it is sad. my mother has severe dementia. we’ve always been sooo close and she was always the kindest, purest, sweetest human being i’ve ever known. now she is forgetful, paranoid, anxious, mean, has screaming fits, etc…. she doesn’t let my dad out of her sight and doesn’t trust him to be alone. i’ve learned a really tough lesson in all of this….no matter how much you want to and no matter how hard you try.. sometimes you just cannot fix the problem before you. i would do anything on this earth for my mom and to see her suffer like this kills me. it makes you feel so helpless. but to know that you’re doing your very best….that’s all you can do. lift it up and pray for god to speak to you and guide you!

  60. KIM says


  61. Rick says

    I think I’ve had a milder form. Try soothing herbal teas. But I usaully opt for drug zyprexa. Sundowning I usaully have is wandering(less) now and confusion. I take Aromas and zyprexa it usaully does the trick. I also walk in the 24 gym nearby.

  62. Lilly says

    Barbara, I take care of a couple, both have dementia and he has SD. After moving in with them I discovered he too was up by 3 or 4 am after only going to bed at 10 pm. I started giving him sleep aids an hr before bed and he is sleeping through the night. This has helped decrease the SD tremendously. The man I care for also resorts back to his child hood home in which he hasn’t lived in over 70 yrs. Last night he had an episode and actually used tricks that I use to talk himself out of it!!!! He looked around, looked at his address on house, knew the stuff in drawers was his etc…He often feels a need to go home although he’s home. I would suggest talking with her Dr and getting something figured out to put her to sleep at night and keep her asleep. While this does not cure it, I have found with proper sleep it helps decrease the episodes and their severity.

  63. mary says

    I take care of my father and my brothers and sisters are local and don’t help. My father has dementia and I have to change, wash him and feed him. His balance is off some days more then others. He went through sun downing about six months ago where he would get undressed during the night and walk down the hallway. Probably three times a night I would put him back in bed. It only lasted for about 2 and a half weeks but I work from home full time and was very tired so I finally gave him some pm sleep medicine and that worked. I only gave it to him for about a week and then he went back to a normal schedule. It is very hard and tiresome but I keep telling myself that my father isn’t to blame and he has no control over what is happening to him and that I do have control over myself at this point-it helps somewhat. I do a lot of praying and keep reminding myself that my mother is looking down (she passed 2 years ago) and knowing that he is being taken care of. I do go out and play tennis a few night a week when my husband comes home from work so you do need some outlet. If you don’t have anyone to help then hire someone and go take an exercise class-it will help you so much. If you can’t get out get yourself buy some form of exercise equipment and put your mother in a chair in front of the television and exercise on your equipment. It’s tough but good luck with everything and remember it won’t last forever.

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