Saturday, August 29, 2015

When The Sun Goes Down All Bets Are Off

Something nearly every dementia or Alzheimer's caregiver will be forced to deal with sooner or later is "Sundown Syndrome."

The Caring.com website describes Sundown syndrom: a term that describes the onset of confusion and agitation that generally affects people with dementia or cognitive impairment and usually strikes around sunset.

With that being said let me tell you about the experiences we faced with Mom's and sundown syndrome. However, the key-word is "faced." Eventually as the dementia tightened its grip on Mom the sundown syndrome gradually faded away and it's no longer a factor.

When Mom first moved in two years ago it was tough. She still had enough cognitive function to understand this wasn't her home, but she had slipped far enough that she couldn't understand why couldn't live alone--that's really the sad part about dementia, the person doesn't even know there's a serious problem. 

Most days, during the daylight hours, I could keep Mom involved in conversations centered around the days gone by. We talked for hours about past family members, did research on the family trees and all kinds of things like that, but memories were fading fast. Back then we could even talk about current events, religion or politics.

All that doesn't sound so bad does it? Well let me tell you though when the sun goes down all bets are off. At sundown, Mom would change. She would become angry and demanding nearly to the point of throwing child-like fits, or temper tantrums. On the plus side, she never did become violent. We dealt with this anger for a good six months before it began to subside. 

If you're dealing with this, it should pass. Just remember it's the Alzheimer's causing this, it's not the person's fault. 

Moving on to Mom, she was in a great mood yesterday. She ate three solid meals and was up a bit more than the average amount of time. Overall, she had a pretty good day.

Oh I'm getting out of the house and heading to Cigar Train so I can pick up my Cigar of the Month Club cigars. I'll probably even hang around long enough to smoke one. 

On another note, the post yesterday was written to post on another forum and that's why it didn't contain any daily information. 

Again thanks for reading! Have a great day.

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