Dementia “Sundowning” Patients Increasingly Vulnerable to Elder Abuse
It is a common understanding that seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s are more susceptible to elder abuse. Oftentimes, individuals, be it caregivers, insurance companies, financial advisors, or friends, take advantage of elders with memory loss diseases, as they are incredibly vulnerable. These facts also ring true when considering an illness associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s called sundowning, which is essentially defined as increased confusion and behavioral problems just before the sun sets.
Elder Abuse and Sundowning
Sadly, elder abuse and sundowning can sometimes be correlated, difficult to understand, and even more difficult to monitor. We have compiled a few tips to help you reduce the risk of a loved one being abused while in their sundowning state.
First, try to keep the senior active during the morning time. This can increase the amount of time they spend up, around, and alert. When it comes to the afternoon, challenge them to activities such as light exercise, card games, or other activities that they are interested in. This can increase the likelihood that your loved one can be attentive for longer hours during the day and become more tired once dusk comes.
Secondly, try to limit any distractions that may trigger sundowning, such as large meals at night, television after a certain hour, or other things you identify as potential interferers when it comes to them getting rest at night. The earlier your loved one is able to go to sleep, the better they will feel.
Lastly, in terms of general protection, consider when decisions and transactions are being made. Discourage any senior suffering from sundowning from doing any important work or decision-making after dusk. This could protect them immensely in the long-run.
If you or a loved one has suffered from dementia or Alzheimer’s and has consequently been abused in Santa Clara County or in any California county, contact the Evans Law Firm elder attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with all types of elder abuse cases.