Some individuals with Alzheimer’s disease may experience sundowning.  Individuals who experience sundowning become increasingly confused, agitated, anxious, and disoriented in the evening and this can continue throughout the night.

Factors that may bring about sundowning include:

  • Mental & physical fatigue from dealing with their memory loss and confusion throughout the day.
  • The reduction in lighting may lead the individual to misjudge what they see and cause increased agitation.

Sundowning is not only distressing to the individual with Alzheimer’s but also caregivers.  Here are some tips for managing sundowning:

  • Schedule appointments and activities in the morning or early afternoon.
  • Be mindful of environmental factors that may influence sundowning (eg: low lighting, noise from the TV, increased household activity).
  • Talk to the doctor or pharmacist about what time is best for taking medications.
  • Avoid physically restraining the individual as this will most likely increase agitation.
  • Plan the largest meal of the day for lunch and provide a simple dinner.

This information was provided by If you have any questions please contact Herkimer County Office for the Aging or NY Connects for more information at 315-867-1124 or go to departments then Office for the Aging.