All About Sundowner’s Syndrome
A top nursing home lawyer Hillcrest Heights MD provides can pursue litigation on behalf of older adults who have been injured through no fault of their own. Nursing home residents can suffer any number of injuries while in the care of a facility, including neglect as well as physical or mental abuse. The attorneys of Cohen and Cohen, P.C. are familiar with the risks of placing loved ones in nursing homes. Our law firm has represented thousands of personal injury victims and won millions of dollars in settlements.
If your loved one has been abused, or you suspect that they are currently being abused, contact a nursing home lawyer in Hillcrest Heights MD immediately. The attorneys at Cohen and Cohen, P.C. provide a free consultation, during which they can assess your case. If you’re considering placing your loved one in a long term health care facility, it is prudent to research your options. If the elder family member in your life suffers from a form of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, they may also be suffering from Sundowner’s Syndrome. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Sundowner’s Syndrome?
Of the five million people suffering from Alzheimer’s, Sundowner’s Syndrome affects up to 20 percent in that group. Also known as sundowning, it’s the period of time usually around dusk, or sunset, that a person with dementia may experience alarming symptoms. These symptoms can be exasperated by any of a number of triggers. When an Alzheimer’s patient experiences extreme side effects from Sundowner’s Syndrome, they can be injured. If your loved one has been injured in this way, immediately contact a nursing home lawyer Hillcrest Heights MD residents recommend.
What are the symptoms of Sundowner’s Syndrome?
The symptoms will vary by person, and a qualified medical professional should be consulted to confirm if a person suffers from Sundowner’s Syndrome. If you have legal issues or concerns, you should consult a nursing home lawyer Hillcrest Heights MD locals hire and recommend to others.
Common symptoms of Sundowner’s Syndrome include:
- Sudden moodiness or periods of anger. If ignored, the behavior can escalate to the point that someone is injured, including your loved one. If this has already happened a Hillcrest Heights MD nursing home lawyer may be able to seek compensatory damages.
- Difficulty with sleeping. For some, insomnia is also a problem.
- Wandering. This is at its most dangerous if the person leaves the facility, as they are vulnerable to getting hurt or lost.
- Hiding objects
- Stubbornness. They may suddenly refuse to perform an activity that they normally do not refuse to do, such as getting dressed or eating a certain food.
- General agitation or restlessness
- A rocking of the body in place
- Physical violence toward others. If the nursing home hasn’t made you aware of this behavior with your loved one, they may be held liable if someone is injured as a result. Consult with a nursing home lawyer Hillcrest Heights MD families trust in similar circumstances to determine if you have a case.
- Yelling or screaming at persons who are not present, or about events in the past
- Walking closely behind or beside someone as if shadowing them
- Asking questions and interrupting you while you’re answering
- Repeatedly asking the same question with no memory of having already received an answer
What are common sundowner triggers?
Once identified, it may be possible to reduce or eliminate triggers. A nursing home lawyer Hillcrest Heights MD turns to can determine if caregivers are liable for not identifying triggers that led to your elder family member getting injured. Common triggers can include:
- Staff shift changes. As the staff members end their shift, they may be hurriedly trying to finish their assignments. This heightened sense of activity or stress can be enough to cause confusion and anxiety on the part of an Alzheimer’s patient and lead to Sundowner’s Syndrome.
- Physical or emotional exhaustion. When evening arrives and it’s time to relax, residents can be overwhelmed by the events of the day. For some, the lack of activity can be a trigger.
- Diminishing available light. As the sun sets, those who already have trouble with their vision may experience fear or anxiety about suddenly having more difficulty seeing. Poor vision can lead to accidents and injuries, and may require added care for an elder family member. A nursing home lawyer Hillcrest Heights MD injury victims rely on may be able to establish the staff’s negligence in caring for your loved one.
- Winter season. Though it’s not known exactly why winter can be a trigger for Sundowner’s Syndrome, it’s believed to be the season’s shorter days. This may be related to Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a form of depression caused by the body receiving less natural sunlight and its nutrients.
Managing Sundowner’s Syndrome
The symptoms and behavior of someone suffering from Sundowner’s Syndrome can often be reduced, or even eliminated. Success varies, but these approaches have shown to be very effective:
- Establishing a routine. This can be very calming as the elder family member will always know what to expect, and there won’t be any surprises, which can cause agitation or fear. When relaxed, they are less likely to experience anxiety or confusion.
- Schedule the more physical activity for earlier in the day. This preserves the last part of the day for more calming activity, which can lead to a more peaceful night. If sleeplessness is a symptom, it can be helpful to limit or discourage naps during the day if possible.
- Limiting noise levels. Loud sounds can cause agitation, which is another trigger.
When a Nursing Home Lawyer Hillcrest Heights MD Respects Makes a Difference
The law firm of Cohen and Cohen, P.C. may be able to represent your family, and fight for the justice your loved one deserves. Call us today at 301-965-0726 for a free consultation with one of our nursing home attorneys. When you need a nursing home lawyer Hillcrest Heights MD is proud to call their own, call Cohen and Cohen, P.C.