Routines can greatly reduce stress among the elderly. As a caregiver, establishing a consistent routine helps seniors know what’s next while feeling safe and secure. If the elderly person you are caring for has dementia, routines can become even more important for their over all well-being. Below are the benefits of creating a routine along with tips for tailoring them specifically for the special senior in your life.
Benefits of Creating a Structured Routine:
- Doing the same basic activities each day such as eating, bathing and dressing can help seniors have a better nights sleep and reduce the effects of sundowing for those with dementia.
- Having structure can greatly increase feelings of safety and security.
- Predictability can help those with dementia feel more grounded and less confused, even when they cannot remember their day, their bodies unconsciously sense what’s coming next.
- A sense of routine can help with behavioral challenges.
- Daily routines can reduce feelings of anxiety, stress and disorientation.
- Caregivers can spend less time figuring out what to do next and more time creating meaningful moments.
Tips for Creating a Daily Routine:
Keep it Familiar
When scheduling meals, bathing and other activities, consider what time of the day the person functions best and what their body is used to. Routines that have been a part of a person’s life for years such as, waking up at 7:00am and having morning toast and coffee, can be ingrained in the subconscious becoming part of their body memory. It is important to keep as many familiar routines and past schedules as possible. This familiarity helps to give a sense of calmness and comfort.
Although daily routine is important, sometimes flexibility is needed from time to time. Try to keep ADL’s such as meals, naps and medication times consistent but allow for breaks throughout the day. On some occasions you may want to do an impromptu activity such as go for a walk on beautiful day.
It’s OK to Add Variety to Life Enriching Activities
Keep a time schedule for life enriching enrichment but vary the activity. Life enriching activities may include physical exercise, mental stimulation, spiritual nourishment and social engagement. Include a variety of activities such as hobbies the person once had by making modifications or helping them with the aspects that may have become too difficult.
Keep Items Around the House in Their Designated Place When Cleaning
Changing the location of items in the home can cause confusion and frustration. Keep household items such as kitchenware, toiletries and clothing in the same place everyday.
Could your elderly loved one benefit from having a caregiver help with tasks around the home? The professional and caring care providers at CareGivers.com can assist your loved one with as little or as much help that is needed. For more information, give us a call at 888-502-1732.