Sundowning

Tigertail

Registered User
Dec 27, 2011
12
0
Suffolk
I have been a member of this forum for quite a few years. I first joined whilst looking after my mum who had Alzheimer’s unfortunately she passed away in 2015. I now find myself back here as my husband has been diagnosed with vascular dementia. Things seem to be progressing very quickly as it’s only been a year since he first visited the doctors.
In the year that’s gone he has had his driving license removed and things have got quite hard to deal with .
Tonight I have spent about 2 hours trying to help him tell the time. He is panicking about what time he should get up in the morning to the extent that he keeps waking up throughout the night. No matter how I try to explain how the clock tells the time he can’t grasp it and is getting quiet upset. I have no idea how to help. I have tried a digital clock and a normal clock but nothing seems to work. I have ordered a wall clock that has a picture of the sun for daytime and the moon for night time but I’m not sure this will help.
Is this sundowning?
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
6,324
0
@Tigertail I am sorry to read about your husband’s diagnosis of Vascular Dementia especially as the progress seems quite rapid.
Many people with dementia have difficulty telling the time and can even get confused as to wether it’s day or night. If the issue that you describe happens regularly in the evening it could be related to sun downing. It might be useful to discuss the issue with your husband’s GP as some anti anxiety meds might help. I don’t think that trying to teach your husband how to tell the time will work, it will probably just make him more anxious. It is a difficult issue and all you can do is try to reassure him that you will make sure he will not be late for appointments etc.
 

Tigertail

Registered User
Dec 27, 2011
12
0
Suffolk
@Tigertail I am sorry to read about your husband’s diagnosis of Vascular Dementia especially as the progress seems quite rapid.
Many people with dementia have difficulty telling the time and can even get confused as to wether it’s day or night. If the issue that you describe happens regularly in the evening it could be related to sun downing. It might be useful to discuss the issue with your husband’s GP as some anti anxiety meds might help. I don’t think that trying to teach your husband how to tell the time will work, it will probably just make him more anxious. It is a difficult issue and all you can do is try to reassure him that you will make sure he will not be late for appointments etc.
Thank you for your reply and I’m sure you are right about not being able to teach him to tell the time but he gets frustrated that he wants to get up at a certain time. I have tried saying it doesn’t matter what time he gets up and that I’ll get him up at the right time but nothing soothes him he just gets more agitated. The gp may be the best way but unfortunately he doesn’t think anything is wrong with him it’s me that has the problem! He has not accepted that he has dementia!
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
6,324
0
Thank you for your reply and I’m sure you are right about not being able to teach him to tell the time but he gets frustrated that he wants to get up at a certain time. I have tried saying it doesn’t matter what time he gets up and that I’ll get him up at the right time but nothing soothes him he just gets more agitated. The gp may be the best way but unfortunately he doesn’t think anything is wrong with him it’s me that has the problem! He has not accepted that he has dementia!
Unfortunately it is quite common for people not to accept that they have dementia which makes it much harder for partners/carers.
 

sunshine chrissy

Registered User
Apr 1, 2022
476
0
Cheshire
I have been a member of this forum for quite a few years. I first joined whilst looking after my mum who had Alzheimer’s unfortunately she passed away in 2015. I now find myself back here as my husband has been diagnosed with vascular dementia. Things seem to be progressing very quickly as it’s only been a year since he first visited the doctors.
In the year that’s gone he has had his driving license removed and things have got quite hard to deal with .
Tonight I have spent about 2 hours trying to help him tell the time. He is panicking about what time he should get up in the morning to the extent that he keeps waking up throughout the night. No matter how I try to explain how the clock tells the time he can’t grasp it and is getting quiet upset. I have no idea how to help. I have tried a digital clock and a normal clock but nothing seems to work. I have ordered a wall clock that has a picture of the sun for daytime and the moon for night time but I’m not sure this will help.
Is this sundowning?
This is what I'm going through now,my husband was diagnosed with frontotempural dementia earlier this year,he can't tell the time or the difference between day and night no matter what I say to him,his internal body clock is upside down,the light summer nights made this even more confusing,I'm hoping the dark nights to come will make him calmer but I'm not holding out much hope!
 

Mel90

New member
Jun 4, 2023
9
0
Hi. My mum has vascular dementia and poor vision. I bought a talking clock from the RNIB site, you just press a button on the top and it tells you time and twice for date but I'm not sure if it would be any good for you. My understanding is ' sundowning' can be a state of anxiety or anxiousness about anything. My mum gets very anxious in the evening asking if she has to go out anywhere the following day asks me every 5 mins. She hates going out.