I know, I can speak for many of us when I say, I look forward to Turning the Clocks ahead this weekend. Ok, so we lose an hour sleep, and that doesn't matter, especially if you don't sleep much - like me. Thanks to daylight savings, we will have longer days, more sunshine, spend more time outdoors and know that the first day of Spring is just around the corner. However, Daylight Savings might not be such a happy time for an Alzheimer's patient and their caregiver, especially for those patients who suffer from Sundowner's Syndrome. Sundowner's Syndrome or Sundowning usually occurs just before dark. Alzheimer's patients who display this syndrome may become sad, agitated, angry and pace just has the sun begins to set. They may lose their full language ability and begin to hallucinate. And Caregivers of an Alzheimer's patient will find that setting the clock forward or back, can be very difficult and cause a lot of grief. According to Agingcare.com, the natural circadian rhythms that make humans function, respond to the loss of sunlight. More people are depressed at night, and this whole phenomenon heightens in a Dementia patient. Here are some tips for Caregivers to help make the adjustment to daylight savings time a bit easier for the Alzheimer's patient:
- Stick to a routine
- Never Argue with the Alzheimer's patient especially those who SunDown
- Enjoy the Outdoors and Sunshine
Don't forget to Spring Forward this weekend, enjoy the light and please change the Batteries in your Smoke Detectors!!!