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Elderly Mom 
Started by idontknow
17 Nov 2016, 3:41 AM

I thought i was ready for these changes, it is so sad, these changes.  How long does the sundowner episodes last.?
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Reply by KathCull_admin
26 Nov 2016, 10:09 PM

I wonder if we are ever ready for sad changes - in the person we know and love. The preson who has cared for us. 

I don't have an answer for your question, but  I know there are others in the community who have experienced similar circumstances.

Are you caring for your mother in your home idontknow?

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Reply by JennJilks
26 Nov 2016, 11:29 PM

There is much mystery about this issue. 
I have written some, as well. Read more here. It's something about circadian rhythmns, an end to the day.  I find it myself, when the sun begins to go down. Normally, I'd gather myself, prepare dinner, and carry out my normal end-of-the-day routines. 

What is it?

Experts do not really know. It is a syndrome that family members spot in the evening. Common emotional and psychosocial symptoms include


    • rapid mood changes, confusion, frustration, anger, crying, depression, stubbornness, fearfulness, hallucinations, paranoia and agitation.

Behaviours include

    • pacing, restlessness, violence, wandering, rocking, hiding things, phoning adult children, friends or even strangers!

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Reply by Carlyn
27 Nov 2016, 4:05 PM

Hi Idontknow

My mother experienced episodes like this at end of her life. This went on for a short time only, because she had cancer and it wasn't long from end of life.

From reading Alzheimer's resources and JennJilks link, I've learned more about it after the fact. 

Coping on our end was a matter of just going along with it and mostly not commenting unless she asked something directly or she was doing something requiring intervention (for safety, that kind of thing). If it wasn't a safety issue or increasing her agitation, I just ignored it but stayed in the room with her. I sincerely don't know if that's a proper way to deal with it but it's what I did in the moment. There wasn't anyone to ask when it would happen.

It's probably a good idea to search the forums here and see if there is more information. There are a wealth of articles here.

The emotional side, as a caregiver, after they fall asleep... I remember feeling disturbed sometimes by what i'd seen and feeling at a loss how to help her with it. It felt very sad to see Mom not being herself and worrying that she felt agitated or not good in any way.  In the end it was a feeling I distracted myself from using watching tv, looking at decor magazines, anything that made me feel better or happier and avoided dwelling on being upset by it. The next day, she seemed to have no memory of the previous night's concerns or any care about them.

I hope this is of some use, even if it just gives you ideas. 

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Reply by NatR
27 Nov 2016, 11:34 PM

Dear I don't know,

welcome to the forum
i see you are already getting some helpful tips - regarding sundowning symptoms

I think it can be something that goes on for a long time - working in a nursing home on the dementia ward, we always tried to prepare for sundowners and their behaviors.  I think it often continues (my personal point of view) for a long time - a difficult time of day for caregivers especially when those they love are able to be mobile.  It can be challenging.  Often activity staff would read, sing, play games or find ways to focus that energy.  

Sending you my thoughts and hope you continue to post how your journey is going 
thanks for joining us here 
best wishes 
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Reply by idontknow
28 Nov 2016, 12:11 AM

Carlyn mirrored just what I had been feeling.  Thanks so much for that.
Nat, yes I do live with my mother. I had moved in 5 years ago, when my Dad
was sick, then passed.  Since then I've had two brothers pass. Its been a tough year
for my Mom, and me.
Im still working during the day, its a worry leaving her. She is still OK on her own, but those changes are increasing.
Thanks again for the support. 
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Reply by KathCull_admin
07 Jan 2017, 4:25 PM

Just wondered how you are doing idontknow

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Reply by idontknow
09 Jan 2017, 3:34 AM

Hi.   We are coping.  Im trying to be kinder and to let go of the details.  Take a deep breath and carry on.  Thank You for asking, 
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Reply by idontknow
06 Feb 2017, 5:57 AM

My 93 year old Mom has had a few falls, nothing broken. Amazing, but she is in pain, very weak and confussed. Our Community Health Care team has been amazing. The equipment needed to keep her safe, in our home, is all in place. My sister from away has been here for 10 days, she will be leaving soon.
Ive started a Leave of Absense from work, It is not safe right now to leave her alone, maybe never.
How will the next few months unfold? I wish I had a crystal ball
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Reply by Nouce
06 Feb 2017, 4:53 PM

Dear idon'tknow,

"I wish I had a crystal ball." How well I understand that sentiment! How long will you need to be on leave? How long will your mother suffer? How well will you be able to find the pieces of light in the midst of the darkness? How well will you be able to assure yourself (or will others assure you) that you are doing your best?

Sometimes I joke: "I've developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at at time." At other times, I try the more serious: Every day I look for some small sign of beauty. And with that I try not to look farther ahead, or count back "how long it's been."

Not easy. Be blessed in the midst


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