What happens with sundowning?

Chris100

Registered User
Nov 19, 2021
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I would like to know, from other people, please, what are their experiences with sundowning?
 

leny connery

Registered User
Nov 13, 2022
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mine started with evenings, but now it is sun rising, sun setting as well as night time. it is tiring
 

yoy

Registered User
Jun 19, 2022
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Mum usually started around tea-time. Getting listless to start with, then developed into constantly wanting to go home (she was). She wouldn't believe anything you said to try to comfort her, because obviously she had a different version of life in her head. Also walking round the house constantly, looking into different rooms as though she had never seen them before, then doing the same again within a couple of minutes. She wanted to know where her bedroom was but didn't believe it was hers when you pointed it out to her. It's was draining and could get a bit heated.
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
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Hello @Chris100 This link might help you to understand sundowning. It is so difficult to deal with.

 

leny connery

Registered User
Nov 13, 2022
410
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that sure is draining, despite us knowing it is their reality. she is looking for the home and bedroom she had 30 to 40 years ago, which is the world she now inhabits. mine does not do that, but is often wondering whose home this is, nd sees me as 'old mum', his wife is the young me, not this old woman
 

Suzysheep01

Registered User
Jan 14, 2023
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My mum starts to get restless around 3/4pm. She has been in a nursing home for over a year now and still sits at the reception area with her coat on and toothbrush packed in her little walker bag Most days. she needs to get home for her kids. She can get very vocal and sometimes aggressive. She’s always been like a protective mama bear over us kids! The staff usually face time me for her on her iPad and I can always chat to her and “ put off” coming home. She’s usually a lot calmer by the time I hang up.
 

windyhill

Registered User
Dec 9, 2023
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My wife starts with it about 3pm and it goes until after dinner. The sundowning can take many forms, from delusions, hallucinations, and in particular doesn't recognise me (capgras) to extreme agitation and very aggressive behaviour. I find it difficult to manage because she has no rationality and can't be persuaded to calm down. I then sit down with her after 7pm to watch some good sit coms together (and sometimes a drink) and this tends to calm her down. However she seems to get upset again going to bed but I think that is her brain being tired rather than sundowning.
 

Greymom

New member
Mar 1, 2024
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Liverpool
My MIL has was diagnosed about 3 weeks ago with Vascular dementia and I think we’re just experiencing sundown with her. She lives alone so we phone every evening too check if eaten, taken medication and general chat but the last few nights her voice is really flat, no expression, monotone like and she doesn’t want to talk and says speak to you tomorrow. (During any daytime calls she’s fairly normal. ) Is this a trait of sundowning ? Thank you in advance for any thoughts and advice 💖
 

Grannie G

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Apr 3, 2006
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Kent
Welcome to posting @Greymom.

The symptoms of sundowning are probably slightly different for those living alone than for those living with partners or family.

When you phone your mother in law in the evening she is probably very tired and this tiredness will increase her confusion.

If you ask how she is or if she needs anything, it`s likely she won`t know, which is why she would prefer to speak to you tomorrow.
 

Grannie G

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Apr 3, 2006
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Kent
During a stage in his dementia almost every night we would have dinner and as soon as we returned to the living room, he would say

I'm going home now, my wife will be worried

In the winter if it was too dark, I was often able to persuade him to wait till tomorrow. If this happened, when he went to bed, I`d put all the stuff he`d gathered away and he was none the wiser when he woke the next day.

If I was unable to do this, he would take any bags he could find, because the suitcases were hidden in the garage and pack these bags with the most ridiculous assortment of possessions and off he went.

Sometimes if he was using a bin bag, it was too heavy and he would drag it along the ground and of course it split.

Fortunately, our son lives five minutes away. I followed my husband with my mobile and house keys in my hand. He rarely saw me because he was in another world. I would phone our son who would come out to meet him.

Even though my husband didn`t know me, he always knew our son who would take him home to his house and once the episode had worn off, bring him home to me.
 

Dotty1947

New member
Mar 2, 2024
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My oh has mixed dementia and constantly thinks that there are other people living in the house. He is sitting here now asking how many are there here for dinner and do we have enough food to go round. This happens an awful lot these days. What is the best way to convince him that there is no-one else here. Is this classed as sundowning or something else
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
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Kent
Hello @Dotty1947

Your husband is hallucinating My husband used to hallucinate too. He often thought someone was sitting in his chair It didn’t upset him thank goodness. He used to say he’d wait until they left.

Does your husband get upset by the people he sees? Does it last long? If it only happens around dinner time it sounds as if it`s also related to sundowning. If not, it`s just hallucinating.

I wouldn’t try to convince him no one is there. I’d just try to reassure him they’ll go soon and you can have your dinner when they’ve gone.

If that doesn’t work and it gets too much for you or him I suggest you see your doctor for advice.
 

Dotty1947

New member
Mar 2, 2024
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Hello Grannie G. Its not just at mealtimes he often does it. Sometimes he'll look at the seat next to him and say "where's she gone" When I ask who he means sometimes it's one of our granddaughters or our daughter. Other times he just thinks we've got visitors.
 

Anthoula

Registered User
Apr 22, 2022
2,525
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My OH has recently started "sunupping". Most mornings he puts on cap, coat and shoes because he is going to work ( he actually retired 15 years ago!), and the job he has to go to is one he had 50 years ago! Thankfully he has to wait for his dad to give him a lift so it`s a pretty long wait!!
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
82,065
0
Kent
Hello Grannie G. Its not just at mealtimes he often does it. Sometimes he'll look at the seat next to him and say "where's she gone" When I ask who he means sometimes it's one of our granddaughters or our daughter. Other times he just thinks we've got visitors.

Then as far as I know @Dotty1947 these episodes are caused by hallucinations.

If you are worried please seek medical advice
 

DB

Registered User
Feb 24, 2024
16
0
Ashford, kent
Mum usually started around tea-time. Getting listless to start with, then developed into constantly wanting to go home (she was). She wouldn't believe anything you said to try to comfort her, because obviously she had a different version of life in her head. Also walking round the house constantly, looking into different rooms as though she had never seen them before, then doing the same again within a couple of minutes. She wanted to know where her bedroom was but didn't believe it was hers when you pointed it out to her. It's was draining and could get a bit heated.
@yoy same here. At night will start about 8:30 & thinks people now trying to steal her cats
Now sometimes in the day
 

Lilahgirl

New member
Dec 26, 2022
1
0
My mum starts to get restless around 3/4pm. She has been in a nursing home for over a year now and still sits at the reception area with her coat on and toothbrush packed in her little walker bag Most days. she needs to get home for her kids. She can get very vocal and sometimes aggressive. She’s always been like a protective mama bear over us kids! The staff usually face time me for her on her iPad and I can always chat to her and “ put off” coming home. She’s usually a lot calmer by the time I hang up.
My mum the exact same wanting to go home and needs to get home to the kids. Trying to calm her with all different stories is so hard and some night I’m lying in the room beside her cause she just constantly talks. My partner and I care for my mum in the her own house but it gets so difficult cause we never get time to ourselves
 

Montyfergus

New member
May 4, 2023
3
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I would like to know, from other people, please, what are their experiences with sundowning?
Hi Chris sundowning for mum started about 6 months ago for us, she started to say I need to go home this is not where I live it was usually about 4 in the afternoon we actually got to the point where mum was that anxious that we would put her in the car drive around asking her to direct us to home (which actually was the other side of Birmingham and we Liv in Redditch) but anyway she would settle a bit then we would drive to the bungalow that she presently lived in we would take her in she would have a cup of tea and settle. But that was short lived I’m afraid it got much worse. We have now moved mum into an independent living flat as we felt she would be safer. That has been another up evil. The sun downing has changed and we are struggling to get mom to go to bed at all.