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July 19, 2022

What the heck is sundowning and how can caregivers help when it occurs?

What the heck is sundowning and how can caregivers help when it occurs?
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In this episode on the Living with Alzheimer's podcast, Christoph discusses sundowning with Claudia Schwenzer, a Care Counselor for Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter. Care counselors help families develop individualized caregiving plansthat fit the specific needs of their family member impacted by dementia. Their help can be requested at Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

Sundowning is a state of confusion that occurs for people with dementia, typically in the late afternoon. It can cause a number of behaviors such as confusion, anxiety, aggression or wandering. We discuss the impact, causes and resources for dealing with the phenomenon of sundowning.

Claudia also talks about safety considerations and research projects related to dementia and sundowning.

Then I speak with my friend Jordan Gilliam who describes his experiences as a caregiver in long-term care facilities. He shares his insights about and approaches to increasing personal dignity and reducing agitation for people living with dementia.

Finally, I speak with Ginger about her perceptions and awareness of sundowning as well as how I can help her when she’s dealing with the confusion that occurs when sundowning happens for her.