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Changes in behaviour at evening and nighttime

Jan Maria

New member
Apr 20, 2021
Hi all my name is Jan and I have just joined this Forum. My mum lives with us and she is 96 years old and suffers from vascular dementia.
She has had short term memory loss for quite a while but in the last few weeks (since a long spell in hospital) she has deteriorated quite a bit. Initially when she came home she was very agitated and distressed. Her GP prescribed a mild sedative/sleeping tablet. This has helped with her agitation and she does sleep a lot.
However, what I have been experiencing with her is that during the day she can walk quite well to the toilet using a frame, however, from 6pm until 2.00am the following morning she has difficulty moving her legs so much so that we have put a commode in her own room to avoid having to walk the short distance to the toilet. She changes just like that and we know within a few minutes when this change will start.
She also groans a lot but when asked "what's the matter" she doesn't realise that she is actually doing this. She also loses the ability to function and I even have to guide her with washing and her toilet ablutions.

Has anyone else experienced this and can anyone advise if there is anything that can be done to avoid this happening? Many thanks Jan

Many tha


Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
N Ireland
Hello and welcome @Jan Jubb

There is a group of behaviours know as 'Sundowning' because of the time of day when they happen. I am of the opinion that during the day the effort of 'normal' functioning tires the dementia brain so much that unusual behaviours can occur later in the day.

There is a Society Factsheet that covers this and other common behaviours and that may be worthwhile reading. If you would like to take a look just click the 2nd line of the following link
Changes in behaviour (525)
PDF printable version