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

Delirium (confusion)

A sudden change in a person’s mental state is known as delirium. Delirium could lead to increased confusion, disorientation, or difficulty with concentration, and can come on very quickly

Managing anxiety and depression 

It is not always possible for a person affected by anxiety or depression to recognise these symptoms in themselves. This can be even more difficult for someone who also has dementia

When someone doesn’t recognise you

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

Changes in perception and hallucinations 

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

False beliefs and delusions in dementia 

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

Dementia and difficulty with sounds

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

Sex, intimacy and dementia

As a person’s dementia progresses, it is possible that there may be changes in their relationship with others. This can be complex both for the person and those around them, especially their partners

Dealing with restlessness 

Restlessness can present as someone pacing, fidgeting, or trying to leave
the house. Here are some techniques and approaches which can be used to prevent and manage potentially distressing situations

Coping with distress

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