Have you heard of sundowning? This is something that often happens when a person has dementia. It basically is a symptom of dementia. However, there is a subset of symptoms that occur with sundowning. This usually begins later in the day and can go into the nighttime hours, as well. As a family caregiver, learning more about sundowning can help you to take care of your elderly loved one better when it is happening.

Sundowning Symptoms

There are numerous ways that sundowning may show up in senior citizens with dementia. However, there are also some common symptoms that you and home care assistance providers can look for in your elderly loved one. Some of these common symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Disorientation
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Becoming more demanding
  • Becoming more suspicious

These symptoms generally range from moderate to severe during the late evening hours and nighttime hours. If you or an elder care provider notices them in your elderly loved one, they may be sundowning.

Actions By Those Who Are Sundowning

It would also be helpful for you to be prepared for some actions or behaviors your elderly loved one might have when they are sundowning. Some of the common actions by those who are sundowning include:

  • Yelling more than usual
  • Hitting you or others in their life
  • Pacing excessively
  • Paranoia
  • Severe mood swings

If you or a home care assistance provider notice these things in your elderly loved one later in the day or at night, it could mean they are sundowning.

If the symptoms don’t get better or they are happening every night, there may be some medications your elderly loved one’s doctor can prescribe to make things a bit better.

Daily Management of Sundowning

Sundowning can take a toll on everyone involved. If you are taking care of your elderly loved one every evening or night or even a lot of the time and they have the symptoms above, it can be a lot to take one. You might be tired, stressed, or even start resenting your elderly loved one. It is important to know that you can get help. You can have elder care providers come in to take care of your elderly loved one during those hours.


There are numerous symptoms of sundowning and actions that your elderly loved one might do if they have this issue. There isn’t much that can be done about it. However, there may be medications your elderly loved one’s doctor can prescribe to help ease some of the symptoms. You can also have home care assistance providers to help during these hours, as well.


If you or an aging loved one is considering home care assistance in Woodbury, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.