How to Handle Difficult Behaviors
Mixes up day and night
Oversleeping during the day, boredom, dementia (sundown syndrome), a vision problem
What to do:
Monitor the person's overall sleep habits. Are there lots of catnaps by day? Does he or she rise later and later, and then stay up later?
Don't allow your household to fall victim to an older adult's topsy-turvy schedule. Minimize naps by day by waking your loved one and initiating an activity. Turn off the TV at night.
Create an evening routine that helps flag that it's time for sleep. Include a snack that promotes sleep, such as warm milk; play gentle music; turn down the lights around the house.
Don't keep a TV in your loved one's room if it's viewed all night. Keep the room dark and quiet to encourage sleep.
Mention the problem to the person's doctor. You may be asked about other signs of dementia. In extreme cases, medication may be prescribed.