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sundowning and dementia

Sundowning in Dementia

Dementia is a complex neurological condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Although dementia and Alzheimer's is most commonly associated with memory loss there are a myriad of challenges posed by these diseases, one particularly challenging phenomenon is sundowner’s syndrome or sundowning.

Sundowning refers to the increased confusion, agitation, and behavioral changes that often occur in individuals with dementia during late afternoon and early evening hours. This unsettling phenomenon can be distressing for both individuals with the condition and their caregivers. In this blog, we will explore sundowning, answer some of the most frequently asked questions about sundowning and its impact, and cover how Memory Lane Games can be used by caregivers as a valuable tool to ease the symptoms.

Can sundowning be treated?

A valuable tool for caregivers in the management of dementia and in particular sundowning syndrome.

The Memory Lane Games app is designed to engage cognitive functions and stimulate memories, providing a source of enjoyment and mental exercise for those with dementia through the power of nostalgia. Especially helpful with sundowning, caregivers can download the app on a tablet or phone and choose from thousands of quiz games designed specifically for those living with dementia.

How are quiz games helpful for someone in sundowning?

The games within the Memory Lane Games app are not designed to test but are specifically designed as a mechanism to create opportunities for reminiscence, communication and engagement with someone with dementia.   There are no ‘wrong’ answers and the games are delivered in an easy to use, frustration-free format, the app captures someone’s attention and delivers ‘Structured Cognitive Stimulation’ which aside from being fun, produces very real benefits. 

Speech therapists, families, memory care and assisted living facilities in the UK and North America are already using it as a digital therapeutic.  Here's how playing the Memory Lane Games app for just a few minutes a day can make a positive impact on individuals experiencing sundowning and other symptoms of dementia.

Easing distress and promoting serenity: Engaging someone on topics of their interest  provides constructive diversion and distraction during agitation or restlessness, which can prevent and alleviate symptoms associated with sundowning. The app is also helpful to occupy or distract someone whilst therapy is carried out. 

Cognitive engagement: Users can select topics that interest them, like old cars, military planes, baking, animals, musical classics, and many more. The app features 1000s of games on 100s of different topics and themes with new games being added weekly so there is something to appeal to everyone.  People love to indulge in their favorite topics and they can of course revisit the same game as many times as they like!

Positive Emotions: The games thoughtfully integrate familiar themes and experiences, nurturing positive emotional connections and create a sense of nostalgia. This can be exceptionally comforting for individuals experiencing sundowning and also enables caregivers to identify what topics of communication may be useful in future or what other activities the person might enjoy. 

Enhancing social interactions and reconnecting families: The games are designed to be played together with family, friends, caregivers and they even work in group settings which can reduce feelings of isolation and help people enjoy an activity together.  The app provides structure to family visits and with such a large breadth of topics there is something to connect every generation.  Young children, for example, may enjoy playing ‘Fairy Tales’ or ‘Nursery Rhymes’ with their grandparents. 

There when you need it: The convenience of the Memory Lane Games application makes it a great distraction from symptoms such as wandering, confusion, distress and other behaviors and can easily be used when traveling or in unfamiliar surroundings too.

Our 2022 Randomized Controlled Trial

‘Improving the quality of life for people living with dementia’

Summary results:

  • 92% of caregivers felt the app made THEM more relaxed

  • 67% of caregivers felt in made THEM happier

  • 66% of caregivers felt time spent using the app was WORTHWHILE

  • 92% of caregivers said the app taught them and person with dementia something new

  • 83% of caregivers said the app made the person with dementia LAUGH

  • 58% of caregivers believed it had helped the person with dementia COMMUNICATE more

Click here to read the full results


Sundowning syndrome can be a challenging condition to manage. However, with a better understanding of its causes and symptoms and access to the right tools, family carers, and healthcare professionals can provide the best support. By creating a structured routine, having tools on hand, and seeking medical advice when necessary, improving the quality of life for those who experience sundowning and their caring companions is possible.

To explore the Memory Lane Games digital therapeutic and start playing, download the app for a free 7 day trial from Apple or Google Play stores.


This app helped me as the CareGiver. I relaxed, I slowed down, I gave silence, all the things they tell you to do but are so hard as a CareGiver. How I wish I had this app when my mom had her sundowning , to help myself through it. Focus on the patient is paramount but the impact on myself as the caregiver was unexpected

App Store Review

The Memory Lane Games app develops social interaction between carers and patients with dementia, elicits positive impact for both and improves mood of the patient, making taking care of them easier. I prescribe the app as a brain exercise for those affected by Covid quarantine restrictions.

Neurologist, Dr Jem Cano
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