Sundowning - What Is The Definition?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Suzanna1969, May 9, 2015.

  1. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    Welcome to TP Bill.

    Is she on all those medications at the same time?
  2. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    Well I took Mum to see the dementia service doctor yesterday and Dad came too, partly because he sees more of her weeping than I do and partly so they can see that, with his Parkinsonism as well as her Dementia, we really need help YESTERDAY and no more fannying about.

    The doctor kept us waiting for an HOUR, during which time the receptionist told us with a wry smile that 'he's always running late, he talks too much!' but that he couldn't be interrupted when he was with a patient (I didn't actually ask her to do so, just said that I was concerned about my Dad being stuck in a plastic chair for all that time).

    When we finally got to see the (harassed and flapping) doctor I told him, out of Mum and Dad's hearing, that it really wasn't acceptable keeping people of their age and conditions waiting all that time. He did apologise again but so what? Then he sat down and started reading Mum's notes - ah preparation! So to save time and my sanity I gave him a synopsis of things over the last 8 months and explained that I wasn't going to accept any more delays and that we needed some medication pronto. I asked about Fluoxetine but apparently it's not compatible with her other meds so he started her on Mirtazapine, warning us of possible side effects including weight gain from increased appetite and sleepiness.

    During our appointment he left the room not once but TWICE after the receptionist (a different one) waved at him frantically through the window. So much for not interrupting him when he's with a patient!!!

    Seriously if it weren't for the fact that I knew it would have upset Mum he'd have been on the business end of a Susannah Paddy which ain't a pretty sight.

    Anyway she took the first tablet last night, she'll be on a low dose for 3 days then move up to the higher dose. Obviously I wasn't expecting it to work straight away and she was very weepy when she got up BUT she was sound asleep until midday! Dad did say that they went to bed a little later than usual, 11pm, but that she'd also dozed off for 2 hours in the evening.

    Despite it being almost lunch time she insisted on having breakfast and, because she eats so slowly these days, was still finishing her porridge at 1.30!

    Has anyone got experience of Mirtazapine and did the sleepiness improve over time? Mum and Dad's quality of life is not great at the moment because she's so reluctant to go anywhere and it's not going to improve if she spends most of the day asleep!
  3. 3grandchildren

    3grandchildren Registered User

    May 8, 2015

    I am new to looking after someone with dementia, and wonder sometimes is it me or if my oh is behaving strangely. From a man who's,s mantra was time spent in bed is time wasted, he now goes to bed at nine. Before this he spends time ,with a torch, scanning the garden and every corner of the house.he doesn't know what he is looking for,apart from locking doors and windows. After reading about sun downing I realize that is what is happening , so I can now accept this as the progress of the condition.
  4. Marlyn

    Marlyn Registered User

    Nov 11, 2012
    Light Therapy

    Hi Suzanne,

    I've just read a post re. light therapy use in care homes in America which seems to be helping Alzheimers/dementia sufferers. It's the same machine they use for people suffering from SAD disease and which are now affordable (£35 - £200) so worth a try in my book. I wonder if anyone on this talking point has heard of it or indeed tried it. My Mum cries all the time and nothing makes her happy. She is aware of her loss of memory and is terrified of it getting worse, which of course it will do. She is unable to tolerate medication as she's never been ill in her life before. I also don't think chucking pills at these sufferers is always the answer and it's well worth trying other avenues. I've ordered a light therapy unit and will let you know if it has any bearing on her apparent depression. We live in Scotland so suffice to say we have lots of dull/wet/part dull days.

  5. Fife

    Fife Registered User

    May 21, 2015

    Hi stanleypj,
    Thank you for awnsering my question on sundowning, yes you never know what is going to happen day by day you just have to get on with it. My Husband trouble is usually at bedtimes that is how I am glad I am not a heavy sleeper. :)

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