People with Alzheimer's and dementia may have problems sleeping or increases in behavioral problems that begin at dusk and last into the night (known as sundowning). This will happen whether living at home or in a routine. Most often it is worse after a move or change in routine. Sundowners become more demanding, upset, suspicious or disoriented; may see, hear, believe things that aren't real or may wander at night.
Some studies indicate as many as 20 percent of persons with Alzheimer's will experience increased confusion, anxiety and agitation beginning late in the day. Others may experience changes in their sleep schedule and restlessness during the night. This disruption in the body's sleep-wake cycle can lead to more behavioral problems.
Factors that may contribute to sundowning and sleep disturbances include:
End-of-day exhaustion (both mental and physical)
An upset in the "internal body clock," causing a biological mix-up between day and night
Reduced lighting and increased shadows causing people with Alzheimer's to misinterpret what they see, and become confused and afraid
Reactions to nonverbal cues of frustration from caregivers who are exhausted from their day
Disorientation due to the inability to separate dreams from reality when sleeping
Less need for sleep, which is common among older adults
Coping strategies for sleep issues and sundowning
Keep the home well lit in the evening. Adequate lighting may reduce the agitation that occurs when surroundings are dark or unfamiliar.
Make a comfortable and safe sleep environment. The person's sleeping area should be at a comfortable temperature. Provide nightlights and other ways to keep the person safe, such as appropriate door and window locks. Door sensors and motion detectors can be used to alert family members when a person is wandering, as can safety systems like Comfort Zone.
Be a part of Memory Day at the Statehouse Weds, April 10, 2013!
Join chapters of the Alzheimer's Association from across the state for Ohio's Memory Day.
This is your chance to speak out for those living with Alzheimer's disease and memory loss and ensure that state legislators support vital programs.
Memory Day includes:
Free luncheon from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Legislative meetings scheduled before and after lunch
Free transportation provided to the Statehouse Atrium in Columbus
Ohio Department of Aging Director Bonnie Kantor-Burman to speak
For more information or to register, call 800.272.3900 or email
Can learning therapy reverse symptoms of dementia?
"Do You Know What My Name Is?"
Alzheimer's and dementia featured in a documentary at the Cleveland International Film Festival in April.
Dementia, nursing home staff John Rodeman reminds us, is an awful disease. The afflicted can forget things that happened moments ago, just as they can forget the names of their children. But since 2011, there's been hope: Cleveland's Eliza Jennings Senior Care Network is the first site in the United States to conduct research on a . Evelyn, Bea, Mary, and Mae are accomplished women who have recently lost cognitive function. Their therapy involves reading aloud and doing simple math problems on a regular basis. After months of working with cheerful caregivers on "brain exercises," they exhibit an astonishing improvement in memory, focus, and mood. John Rodeman has a question for each of them: DO YOU KNOW WHAT MY NAME IS? Thanks to learning therapy, their answer is now likely to be a resounding "Yes!"
Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 7:35 PM Friday, April 12, 2013 at 11:40 AM Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 9:30 AM
Support groups are an open gathering of people with common issues, needs and interests who come together to share their thoughts and experiences to better cope with and manage the challenges of dementia. The Alzheimer's Association offers peer- or professionally-led groups for caregivers and others dealing with Alzheimer's disease. All support groups are facilitated by trained individuals and offer a safe environment to discuss your concerns.
Many locations offer specialized groups for children, individuals with younger-onset and early-stage Alzheimer's, adult caregivers and others with specific needs. To find a support group to meet your needs call our 24-hour Helpline (800) 272-3900 or Go Here.
Alzheimer's Association support groups are available throughout the United States. To find a support group anywhere in the country, click here
Increase your understanding - Take a class!
The Cleveland Area Chapter provides a variety of educational programs and classes to give up to date, informative and practical information about Alzheimer's disease, dementia and memory loss. We have classes designed to serve the general public, health care professionals, individuals with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, their family members and friends.
Although some education programs are available on our website for online training, our live presentations allow participants to ask questions, hear others' questions and interact with one another. In exit surveys, 99% of our class attendees said they were satisfied with the program and would recommend the program to others.