I guess when dementia takes over, a guy’s sense of time goes all over the map. We have clocks spotted all over the house, and he believes none of them. So his schedule is even more messed up than usual.
Like last night. We were fixing to go to a caregiver’s party, entertainment provided by a bunch of musicians including myself. And getting everything out the door took some real doing.
But Dad running behind. He had his usual leisurely lunch, took a while to get his shoes on (with help), and took 10 minutes to locate a handkerchief. We got out the door and over to Goeske, giving me maybe 15 minutes to load in and sound check.
From the journal:
That may be the new normal. His sense of time is all shot. Right now there are two time frames in the house: Daylight and dark. He’s sleeping in his chair more, and he’ll often be up rattling around at 3 or 4 in the morning. He was never the type to be on time for things anyway, but lately it seems someone sure busted his watch.
His new clock is called “looking out the window.” As I wrote this he made something like his thind or fourth trip in an hour to look outside. He even interrupted his lunch to do this.
“It’s dark,” he said after meditating on the blackened view for a few minutes.
Now myself, having a bizarre sense of humor, had to check.
“It sure is, isn’t it?”
It’s not supposed to be this dark.”
I move to the other side of the house and check the windows the other direction. “Dark over there too.”
“Yeah,” I say. “It’s dark everywhere.”
Hey, caregiving’s strenuous enough. I have to amuse myself somehow.
Don’t know if it’s a sundowning thing, but his schedule is all crazy now. Meaning my schedule is all crazy. Now if he starts getting up at like 7 in the morning, I’ll know everything’s gotten weird.
I remember in some of my caregiving classes we talked about sundowning but I never really experienced it until lately. Maybe this is it, and already I don’t like it.
Guess this means I have to adjust.
Talk to me: What are your experiences with sundowning? Please share.