The shifting of the seasons doesn’t always mean an easy transition from hot weather to cool weather. Temperatures fluctuate daily, and sometimes those days are cool and sometimes they can feel as hot as a summer day. Such changes can be confusing for elderly people who spend much of their time indoors. A condition called “seasonal sundowning” can mean people with dementia or Alzheimer’s are more confused with the onset of the fall season.
If you have an elderly loved one, it’s vital to ensure he or she stays comfortable during the temperature shifts we often see during the fall season. Many older people become uncomfortable in their own homes simply due to setting their thermostats incorrectly, and this discomfort can be dangerous in some cases.
People with Alzheimer’s or dementia often struggle with environmental changes. Sundowning describes periods of increased agitation or confusion, most often occurring in the early morning or late afternoon. Fading light seems to be the trigger for sundowning symptoms, which may escalate to pacing, hallucinations, wandering, and disorientation. The changing light of fall can trigger seasonal sundowning, which can cause the same symptoms.
Temperature fluctuations are most common during the hours when sundowning symptoms are most likely to appear. An improperly set thermostat may not only increase the chances of an older adult experiencing sundowning, but may also exacerbate the symptoms. One of the best ways to treat sundowning symptoms and prevent them from worsening is consistency. Ensure your loved one has a set schedule, ensuring consistent temperatures in his or her living space during each season.
If your loved one is becoming more forgetful during twilight, the next step might be seasonal sundowning. Protect them with a tamper resistant thermostat. At Landlord Thermostats, you have many options for thermostats that would prevent your loved one from adjusting the temps to dangerous degrees. Consistent, reliable, and comfortable temperatures are crucial for the elderly, especially those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Contact Landlord Thermostats to learn more about how we can help ensure your loved one’s thermostat remains set at the ideal temperature.