Caregiving: Why Is Routine Important?

By 12  pm on

Older woman wearing blue with her daughter in Dallas, TX

Quality Caregivers Prioritize Routine

Predictable schedules are probably best for everyone, but this becomes especially true as we age.  Surely, you’ve heard someone say that humans are “creatures of habit?” Consistent schedules remind older adults of what’s ahead, bringing a sense of comfort to them. When someone suffers from dementia, daily structure and routine provided by their caregiver is even more important.

Structured Routines Provide Feelings of Security

Structured routines for daily meals, bathing or dressing provide feelings of security for most older adults. Typically, they sleep better as a result of regular sleep and wake up times, too.

Elderly people struggling with dementia become less confused with structured caregiver routines. Sometimes, a dementia patient might forget what was done earlier that day, but he or she will sense what’s coming next in the day’s schedule. Regularly scheduled dining times prevent hunger pangs, reducing considerable stress in dementia patients, who may otherwise have behavioral challenges for the caregiver.

Keeping a regular schedule means less planning for the caregiver and an appreciation of each moment enjoying the person being cared for.

Plan the Routine

Plan the routine with the adult first 

Plan the routine around the person being cared for. When planning meal times, daily care or activities, consider the time of day that the adult seems to function best. When the older adult already has a routine, don’t change it. If he or she is happy waking up early for toast and coffee, let them keep the routine. Keep any adult’s routine as stable as possible.

You’ll need flexibility as well as routine

Keeping a routine is vital, yet flexibility is needed, too. Occasionally, the person might not feel well and will need additional rest, but on good days, an unplanned activity like a walk can feel perfect.

Keep variety with scheduled activities, too 

Schedule activities for each week, yet add some variety, too. Try different types of exercise and cognitive challenges. Add spiritual nourishment and different social events. What hobbies were pursued in the past? Perhaps the caregiver can modify undertakings that are now too difficult.

Keep everything in its place

As a caregiver, only rearrange personal belongings in the home for safety reasons. It can cause confusion and frustration for an elderly adult.

Could your loved one benefit from additional assistance? Home Care Assistance will provide as little or as much in-home help to older adults as needed. Call the Home Care Assistance office nearest you today for more information!


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