Home Care Services: Does the Winter Solstice Impact Sundowning?

Home Care Services: The winter solstice falls on December 21st.

It’s the day when the amount of night is longest, limiting the amount of daylight. When you have a parent who is sundowning, you might find this is one of the toughest days to help keep a sense of calm. Often sundowning is most pronounced during certain times of day, often when the sunlight is dim and shadowy. On the day with the shortest daylight, you or your home care services provider might find your mom or dad won’t settle. The pacing, following you around, and delusions are worse than you could imagine.


Home Care Services in Ardmore PA: Sundowning

Home Care Services in Ardmore PA: Sundowning


Tips That Can Help Ease the Distress

Create a routine that doesn’t change much. Get your mom or dad used to breakfast at 8 a.m., shower and oral care at 9:30 a.m., a walk at 10:30 a.m., etc. Stick to that routine daily. The repetition helps instill a sense of the expected that can help eliminate mood swings.

Make sure your parent is getting outside for fresh air and natural sunlight. A daily walk is an excellent way to lower stress and reduce the anxiety that can build during the day.

Program the lights in common areas to turn on 30 minutes before the sun starts to set. If you don’t have timers, make sure you set the alarm on a phone or watch so that you’re reminded to turn the lights on. Light fixtures and bulbs that mimic natural sunlight can also help.

Sometimes, a nap in the early afternoon can help your parents recharge. It helps ease some of the stress and frustration that increases the chances of a sundowning episode.

Talk to your mom or dad’s doctor about medications or supplements that help with mood. You might find that an antidepressant is enough to stop sundowning from happening. Some people find melatonin supplements to be helpful.

Finally, when your mom or dad is most likely to experience agitation or angry outbursts, make that a busy time of day. If there’s a fun activity going on when sundowning occurs, it can help bypass the anxiety and frustration that triggers the outburst.


You Need to Take Care Of Yourself

What can you do when your parent is hallucinating, paranoid, and highly agitated? This is where you need to address the need for 24-hour home care. It’s important for both you and your mom or dad.

Your parent’s restlessness and anxiety shouldn’t impact your well-being. Schedule assistance from a 24-hour home care services agency to make sure you have opportunities to sleep, run errands, or enjoy time away with friends and family. Make the call to have caregivers helping out.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Ardmore, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care. (484) 206-4544

Ibrahim & Mariama Suma-Keita