Having a daily routine in place for seniors is essential for seniors, especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. A schedule will reduce agitation and improve overall mood if they know what activities are lined up for them ahead of time and know what to expect. It can also be very beneficial for the caregiver as you’ll spend less time trying to find and plan activities and more time enjoying those activities. Having a designated schedule allows for a situation with multiple caregivers and ensures your loved one is sticking to their routine, even when you are not there.
There are many aspects to consider when you start to plan out a care routine. Here are some of the questions you should be asking before you draft a daily routine:
- What activities or hobbies did your loved one like doing in the past? Even if they can’t do the activity well anymore, they will still enjoy getting to do it.
- What activities could you do together? Find something that you both, caregiver and senior, like to do together and make it a habit of doing those activities.
- How did your loved one structure their days in the past?
A care routine should be as specific and detailed as possible for both caregivers and the senior’s themselves. Here are some items to include in your daily care routine:
- Times for waking up/going to bed
- Grooming and Personal Care tasks: Shower/bath, brushing teeth, getting dressed etc.
- Household Chores
- Creative Activities and Hobbies: Painting, knitting, music etc.
- Intellectual Activities: Puzzles, word games, reading etc.
- Physical Activities
- Social activities
- Spontaneous Activities
- Planned Downtimes/Breaks
Even with the most detailed daily routine, there will be days that are thrown completely off, and that’s okay. Be open to spontaneous activities and for things to not go as planned. The goal is to have a routine that your loved one is comfortable with and can plan for each day. It will make your life, and theirs, easier and more enjoyable.