With daylight saving times starting again this week, many of our dementia patients will struggle to readjust to the changes. According to WebMD, 1 in 5 people with dementia suffer from ‘sundowning syndrome’ which can cause anxiety to those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia due to the shift in daylight hours into the evening. By shifting an hour ahead or an hour back, our loved one’s routine can become disrupted and can oftentimes lead to confusion.
How to help Dementia Patients through Daylight Savings Time
Maintaining consistent sleeping patterns or schedule as well as wake habits is especially important for those who suffer from dementia. Because these alterations can worsen dementia symptoms, caregivers need to know how they can help dementia patients through daylight savings time.
Keep your routine as normal as possible.
This means waking up, eating meals, and going through activities all at the same scheduled time.
Limit daytime napping.
Too much inactivity or sleeping throughout the day can make it harder for your loved one to fall asleep at night. Instead, consider going for a walk or any other activity that can keep them active.
Limit the intake of sugars and/or caffeine to morning hours only.
Limiting your loved one’s intake of caffeine to morning hours only can prevent agitation throughout the day and can help them avoid sleepless nights.
Turn on the lights in the morning.
This will avoid confusion that the daylight-saving time may bring.
Minimize your loved one’s stress levels.
If your loved one has a song or shows they like to watch to keep them calm, turn that on so they feel comfortable. However, if you find yourself in an unfamiliar environment with your loved one, bring items that can create a relaxing atmosphere such as photographs or calming activity such as puzzles or knitting.
As the evening approaches, try to keep the background noise to a minimum.
It might seem as though it’s still early due to the sunlight but if your loved one begins to wind down during the evening it can create a relaxed setting and can maintain their regular sleeping schedule.
Hiring outside help can make the transition of daylight savings time easier for dementia patients. At 24/7 Nursing Care, we offer a variety of in-home referral care services tailored to you or your loved one’s needs.
Hiring an in-home care referral for dementia patients is that it often helps boost the overall well-being of the individual. While dementia is a disease that inevitably progresses, studies have shown that being in the home environment is an advantage in helping the individual be more comfortable in familiar surroundings with their loved ones by their side. Contact 24/7 Nursing Care at (786) 518-3622 for Miami-Dade or (954) 949-1332 for Broward.