Hi! Good question. Most of us, dementia or no, get tired later in the day. For people with dementia, that exhaustion can manifest itself as anxiety, panic, and aggression. People with dementia just don’t always have the ability to say, “I’m tired/hungry/feeling cranky/confused, leave me alone,” like the rest of us do. Instead, you see the anxiety and anger.
Calming music, scents, and activities can combat these behaviors. If a person is engaged (holding a baby doll, folding laundry, enjoying a TV show, or something else that is fun but calming) he or she won’t be panicking about leaving, getting hostile, or picking fights. Most people begin to sundown around 3 PM, so that’s when they need to be engaged in something pleasant.
I always recommend avoiding “chemical restraints” like antipsychotics. What does work for some people who experience a ton of anxiety, though, are anti-anxiety medications that a physician can prescribe.