The Importance of Routine for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care
Having a general daily routine with Alzheimer’s and dementia care will help caregiving run smoothly. Routines don’t need to be set in stone or drab. Instead, they give a sense of consistency, which is beneficial for a loved one, even if they can’t communicate it. Diversity is welcome.
You and your loved one should create your own unique routine. If you would like to optimize a routine with physical and social activity, there are plenty of Denver-area groups and nonprofits who come together as a community to help each other with senior care. We also transport seniors to these activities and participate whenever appropriate. We’ll use every established means to help improve and maintain your loved one’s quality of life.
- Keep a sense of structure and familiarity by maintaining consistent times for activities such as waking up, mealtimes, bathing, dressing, receiving visitors, and bedtime.
- Let your loved one know what to expect even if you are not sure that they are on board. You can use cues to establish the different times of the day. In the morning, you can open the curtains to let sunlight in. In the evening, you can put on quiet music to indicate it’s bedtime.
- Doing everything on your own might be easier, but try to involve your loved one in daily activities as much as they are able. They may not be able to tie their shoes, but putting their clothes in the hamper is doable. Clipping plants outside may not be safe, but they may be able to weed, plant, or water. Use your best judgment as to what is safe and what they can handle.
If you would like help establishing a routine or supplementing the routine of your loved one, we’d be glad to sit down for a talk. Feel free to give us a call today to discuss the way you and your loved one can continue to maintain a high quality of life. Or, check out more practical tips for dealing with dementia.
Watching your loved one lose interest in the things they once loved is difficult. Even though you want to help and encourage them, the vitality they had for a favorite pastime might diminish. Sometimes, dementia and Alzheimer’s can even result in Sundowner’s Syndrome. The hardest part for family caregivers is creating and sticking to a routine, but the benefits of routine are a necessity. By having a time for everything, it sharpens focus, eases agitation, and keeps physical requirements in check. A good routine will slow decline and create the best lifestyle possible despite losing abilities.
The Basics of Routine
There are standard parts of a routine that can be remembered as SPECIAL:
- Schedule: Keep a sense of structure and familiarity by maintaining consistent times for activities such as waking up, mealtimes, bathing, dressing, receiving visitors, and bedtime.
- Peace: When your loved one is aggravated, offer calm reassurance that they are in a safe place. Arguing is not recommended. Try to find out if there is something your loved one is in need of.
- Eliminate: Limit evening intake of coffee, soda and other beverages containing caffeine.
- Cue: Let your loved one know what to expect even if you are not sure that they are on board.
- Include: Doing everything on your own may be easier, but it isn’t the best approach. Use your best judgment as to what is safe and what they can handle.
- Activity: Explain activities beforehand and evaluate whether or not they will be able to do an activity to avoid frustration. If the health of your loved one permits, an increase in daily physical activity may be beneficial.
- Lights: Allowing your loved one to determine where they will sleep each night, with low light to limit confusion.
Establishing all of the components of a routine takes time, patience and help. If your loved one would like to stay home, allow others to provide the assistance you need to maintain a happy home. They can also make great assistants for any number of activities that work well for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.