The other day I meet someone who was telling me how well his farther is doing. At 85 he is managing all his own affairs and living independently in his own home. He is active, drives, does his own shopping and his conversations don't show any apparent gaps in memory.
There is only one thing, in the late afternoon he is not himself. It's hard to explain, he gets agitated and short tempered and what he says doesn't always make sense. The next day everything seems fine.
Everything is not fine. A situation like this needs attention and attention now.....
In almost half of those with Alzheimer's, Sundowning will become a major and undeniable problem as the disease progresses and exhibits serious behavioral and management issues. But in the early stages, it is too often brushed off as an anomaly.
Maybe this is just my imagination, I don't want to rock the boat, etc. It is easy to make excuses to not take action. If it turns out that it is your imagination, wouldn't that be great, but you need to get a professional assessment because if you don't the consequences could be devastating.
Getting an assessment is easier said then done and since every situation is unique I can not give you a step by step approach that will make it easier. Just admitting it to yourself and discussing it with other family members may well make you the "bad guy" in the situation. Get the facts about Alzheimer's and Sundowning as a symptom. (you can start with the learn more links provided). Talk to their primary physician and explain the situation and that an evaluation in the morning will not tell story. It may require someone to come to the house in the afternoon to get an accurate picture. You will need to use your imagination and get the help you need to make it happen. If you get a diagnoses of dementia you will be starting on a road that will bring lots of obstacles, but the sooner you get started making the preparations and plans, the easier the road will be.
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