A strange day! Is this sundowning?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Flake, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    Feel quite deflated today :( Went to see my Mum at 4pm. It was bright sunshine. The curtains were drawn and the door locked. I went in wondering what I was going to find. The doors were closed. Went in the bedroom and my mum was sitting half in the bed, underwear on and quite clearly ready for bed - she doesnt wear a nightdress. She thought I was that bloke from down the road. Then we had an odd conversation about this man, so I said he had moved away with his job. Then the conversation went on about relatives who had died but she had been talking to them and they had been to see her. She asked if I had one of them living with me. It was quite relentless and she then said it would be bright until 11pm. I said it would start getting dark about 8 but she was insistent that it would be daylight. She then said she would be glad to go home! I asked where that was and it was were she had lived as a child. I explained that where she was now is her home and that she had chosen it with my Dad. She looked really confused. Is this sundowning? She wasnt upset or agitated just really confused. Dont think I helped much as I was tired after a very busy week at work and just wanted to get home and now I feel bad about that too :eek:
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    It could be su Downing and it could be confusion caused by an infection, possibly a UTI which doesn't really seem apparent.

    If it happens regularly around this time it will be sun downing but you might ask the GP to check for an infection too.

    It's tough when you work full time and visit on the way home when you're tired.
  3. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Doesn't sound like sundowning to me, although it can take many forms. Personally my mum's sundowning is full of agitation, movement in that she has no idea what to do, goes in and out of different rooms looking for something, repetition and confusion. Not great to witness or deal with when tired.
  4. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    #4 Essie, Apr 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
    It does sound more like a UTI to me - could you go round first thing tomorrow and get a sample of wee from your Mum and drop it off at the GP's, if they're open on a Sat morning? If the sample will have to wait till Monday I'd still go round first thing tomorrow and get Mum drinking lots of fluids which will help flush through any infection if it is a UTI. And then just keep a close eye on her over the next few days and monitor her in terms of getting better/worse, if there is a further deterioration over the weekend you can always call the out-of-hours doc to come and see her.

    Just had a read back through your previous posts and wondering if Mum has now had her scan (third time lucky?) and if so has a diagnosis been made? If the GP didn't want to 'treat' until diagnosis perhaps now some medication would help your Mum as it does seem like things aren't that great at the moment generally. Perhaps also, as someone else suggested, getting a care plan sorted out would also help both your Mum and you, somebody going in once or twice a day as well as yourself so that Mum isn't on her own too much.
  5. Flake

    Flake Registered User

    Mar 9, 2015
    Mum has her scan not MRI as it was not possible but a CAT scan and we have not had the result of this scan yet, it is just taking so long. Yesterday she wasnt too bad, still muddled and living in the past and today, well she has said that she has run the Marathon a couple of times with her work friends, and it was such a lovey day. Of course it was when she was alot younger, and they all did it a couple of times :eek: I asked if she had any medals but she said she couldnt remember getting one. I just went with it and said how impressed I was that she could run that far! As for carers, you must have read my mind, I will see how things progress and may put something in place once I have the notion set into her mind.
  6. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    sorry what is sundowning? My mother tends to sometimes live in the past.
  7. chelsea girl

    chelsea girl Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    Sundowning happens usually later afternoon. My mum keeps fidgeting, asking to go home, wants to keep walking about. Keeps asking who her walker belings to? Says this isnt her home etc. Goes off by early evening!! Oh and thats when the hallucinations r at their worse
  8. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
  9. Jaxx23

    Jaxx23 Registered User

    Mar 15, 2012
    My mum goes to bed everyday at about 5pm. I didn't even consider it sundowning. I put it down to the fact that she has been at her Day Centre all day and is just tired and bored, I believe. At weekends she can be in bed at 2.30/3.00 pm, again I put this down to boredom, as she sometimes says, that no one has been so might as well.
    But then again, I also think she associates a nap with sleep/bed ??? Of course a lot of it is just the Alzheimers and getting times mixed up, but definitely think they get bored or are under stimulated. My mum is 83 lives at home, a carer in in the mornings, and at Day Centre 4 days a week.
  10. cerridwen

    cerridwen Registered User

    Dec 29, 2012
    My Dad has just progressed from mild dementia to moderate dementia and I notice he gets agitated and restless in the afternoons, after about 3p.m. However, he is shortly (Wednesday) to be going into respite for four weeks for the first time and quite a few people have been talking to him about it (me, his day centre worker, his GP etc). I know he is agitated when he asks me to go and buy cigarettes for him. He started smoking again last year after Mum died after a seven year break and he turns to cigarettes when he is stressed. Today he asked me to go and buy them for him and I gently expressed concern because he has a bad chest and managed to get out of it. I felt bad, though, not giving him what he wants.
    So, after a rambling post, what I am saying is that his behaviour may be sun downing or it might be due to stress. This might be the case for the other posters on here too. It's a good idea to check for illness; my Dad is anaemic and tired at the moment so that might have a bearing on it too.
    Jane xx
  11. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    For a couple of years before she went into the CH my mother would want to go to bed extremely early. I would usually get to her house at about 5 when I was regularly staying the night, and would find all the curtains closed, everything locked up, and her either in bed or about to get in. Not so surprising in winter, but this would happen even in the middle of summer. I would then have to persuade her that it wasn't time, she hadn't had dinner yet - (I always brought it with me.).

    And even when I was there all day she would want all the windows and curtains closed by 5 pm, even in the middle of summer in a heatwave. She would always want to go to bed by 8 latest, despite hardly ever going to bed before midnight pre dementia, and would fret if I didn't go at the same time. So to avoid aggro I would pretend to go and sneak down again later.

    All this was a regular thing - not down to anything like a UTI.

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