Wednesday, January 10, 2018

NIA Releases Resource on Reducing Evening Agitation in Residents with Alzheimer’s Disease

Lindsay Schwartz

The National Institute on Aging released a resource on reducing evening agitation in persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Persons with Alzheimer’s disease can experience agitation, restlessness, irritability and can confusion in the evening, often times referred to as sundowning. Although researchers have not discovered what causes sundowning, possible causes include being overly tired, experiencing pain or depression.

To help address these causes, providers can reduce noise and clutter, especially in the evenings. Exposure to natural light, limiting naps, and ensuring residents can get physical activity during the day can help reset sleep-wake cycles. Using curtains in the evening to help reduce shadows that may cause anxiety. Other helpful tips include, limiting caffeine intake late in the day and not serving alcohol, which could add to confusion and anxiety. Additional tips can be found on the NIA’s website.

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