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 sundownding--what is the cause? 
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3176
Location: WA
Post sundownding--what is the cause?
After observing sundowning in my husband for the past several years, it occurs to me that it has nothing to do with the position of the sun, as days [especially here in the northern part of the US] can be really long with the sun not setting until 9pm in the spring while it gets dark by 4PM in late fall and winter. It makes no difference, as he gets his restlessness, increased delusions, anxiety and agitation after dinner and usually calms down by bedtime. As he doesn't get his PM meds until bedtime, his calming down is not med-related. There is no change between seasons.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:15 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: sundownding--what is the cause?
Here is something I found from the AD and from what I have heard sundowning is not that common in LBD but we certainly had it in our home! I actually think it had to do with the fatigue of the day not actually the time or the daylight!

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sundowning/HQ01463

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Irene Selak


Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:07 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3176
Location: WA
Post Re: sundownding--what is the cause?
Thanks, Irene. The article says 'the cause isn't known', so I guess that answers my question. Nothing seems to help. I just mentally and emotionally prepare for the three or four hours of agitation & anxiety he has every evening. I think reassurance helps as much as anything. Usually I'm very tired by then, myself, so it sometimes takes all I can muster to engage him rather than hide in another room. ;-)

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:53 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: sundownding--what is the cause?
Pat,
I hear you! Not a very rewarding job is it ?

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Irene Selak


Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:58 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:07 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Dallas, TX
Post Re: sundownding--what is the cause?
Wow, the idea that Dad's evening problems may be related to fatigue makes sense. I will reflect a bit and try to decide whether they are related to being overactive during the day or whether they are related to being trapped in a small, locked unit (which has been my assumption until now). Ironically, assuming that he's struggling against being trapped has led me to provide him with a more active, off-ward schedule during the day. Perhaps it is less running around that he needs. This puts me in mind of some sage advice I got about periodically reviewing Dad's lifestyle to see if he's able to keep up with it. Thank you so much, friends!


Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:09 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: sundownding--what is the cause?
Sue,
I think this fatigue is just part of them no matter what they do honestly, I say as long as you can get him to do some things, go for it !

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Irene Selak


Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:20 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: sundownding--what is the cause?
There are several good past discussions here of sundowning. One, in particular, that I like is:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=330


Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:26 am
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