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How can we cope with my dad's severe sundown syndrome?

2 answers | Last updated: Mar 28, 2015
lolli asked...

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Beth Spencer is a social worker in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with more than 25 years of experience with families who have a member with...
Beth Spencer answered...

Your poor father has a lot on his plate. Most of us would feel angry and frustrated dealing with the pain and discomfort he must be feeling at night. It See also:
I feel guilty about it, but I can barely stand the sight of my mother, who wants to live with me. What do I owe her?
sounds as though his physical care needs are quite high. Is it realistic at this point to think about caring for him at home? It may make sense to see if the medication prescribed will help his mood swings and to wait until the swelling is gone and he can get along without a catheter. Generally residential care is better able to handle out-of-control anger than family at home, even though they often do it with medications. I would be inclined to wait and see whether his anger subsides with his medical conditions before trying to cope at home.


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Hi Lolli,

My heart goes out to you! I am a geriatric care manager and RN. most people with dementia become highly irritable and have an increase in their confusion, sometimes to the point of hallucinations, when there is acute pain or infection. Your dad isn't himself right now, and you'll need to wait for his conditions to clear, to find out how much improvement, if any, he will exhibit. The health team is trying to use medication to turn his cycle around. It may be time to call for a care conference and bring up all your worries. You may want to hire a geriatric care manager to be present at this meeting. It helps to have a third party listen in, advocate for you and your dad, and be a voice of reason for everyone. It may be a couple months or more before he is stabilizing. Good luck to you and your father!