Sundowners Syndrome

Today started out really good. Some early painting, then some Ellen and some coffee with Jerry.Jerry walked the dog and even took her in the back yard to "play" tetherball. He likes to tap the ball and she hits it back to him. Really cute. So far, so good.

The highlight of the day was when a friend stopped by to visit. What a sweetheart! (I HAD to say that because she's a faithful reader of this blog. Ha!) She, a fellow painter, talked me into painting my garden. So I took out my easel, got Jerry settled in a rocking chair in the shade, and painted away. We even saw a momma deer and two baby fawn come into our front yard. It was a sight to see.

After Jerry's nap, however, Jerry "was not there." He was absent. I figured he just wasn't fully awake yet. He wandered around for hours. I managed to corral him so we could walked the dog again, but after that he kept shadowing me every step I took. FINALLY, I asked him to sit down, gave him some dinner, and told him I needed to go upstairs to take a shower. When I got back, he was crying. (My lip is poking out.) Maybe this is what they call "sundowners."

Sundowners: A period of irrational thoughts and irritable behavior might begin after the last meal of the day and last until bedtime, for example. One theory concerning sundowners syndrome is that the constant daily mental processes for normal living can become overwhelming for the elderly during evening hours. They simply have too much incoming information and their restricted cognitive abilities become overloaded. The result is a period of irritability and negative thoughts.

Yep. I think that's it. He was definitely overloaded. He kept wanting to follow me around and try to keep up with me. He kept saying "I don't have it." Meaning, his brain isn't working. I tried to console him and tell him that it had been a long day and that he didn't need to do anything. Meaning, he didn't need to think. "Let's just watch some TV." Americas Funniest Home Videos usually seems to make him laugh. It's helping a little, in fact, he's laughing now.

Now that I think that's what's happening, I can try to avoid his getting too tired. Tomorrow will be a better day. Right?