Sundowning is a term used for the changes in behaviour that occur in the evening, around dusk. Some people who have been diagnosed with dementia experience a growing sense of agitation or anxiety at this time.
As their dementia progresses, some people with a diagnosis will stop recognising people they know, even close family members. This can be upsetting for families. Attempts to remind the person who the people in front of them are can be confusing and frustrating for them.
For some people living with dementia, their brain misinterprets the information from their senses. This is called changes in perception and leads to them misunderstanding the world around them, or, in more rare instances, the person having hallucinations.
For some people living with dementia, their brain misinterprets the information from their senses. This can lead to them holding false beliefs and delusions about the world around them. These false beliefs or ‘different realities’ can be very distressing.
People with dementia can experience additional difficulties with their hearing, aside from those traditionally related to ageing. They may experience problems identifying what a sound is, or picking out one sound from another.
When a person with dementia becomes distressed, it is often because they are trying to communicate something to you. Here are some techniques that can try to prevent the distress in the first place as well as methods for promoting calm in the moment.