Research and medical experts say that routine is highly important for a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s. A regular routine helps to establish a sense of consistency, which in turn enhances security and peace of mind. Even if your loved ones cannot tell you that they like routine, there is no doubt that they do benefit from it. A routine does not need to be etched into stone and never changed, nor does it need to be dull and harsh. It is a good idea to embrace change within a general routine and to remain flexible, since it is hard enough trying to care for someone with dementia without getting tied up in prescriptive set-ups.
Creating Routine: What You Need to Do
It is a good idea to set up a broad structure of activity for things you do throughout the day, such as when to wake up, when to eat, and when to rest and get ready for bed. Make sure that your loved one knows about this routine and understands what to expect. It can be helpful to add cues into the routine that are non-verbal so that the routine is more structured, for example opening the curtains every morning and dimming the lights every night.
Try to get your loved one involved in the routine if possible – it may be quicker for you to do things yourself but it will help their self-esteem and health when they get involved doing the activities they can manage. It also helps that they understand what comes next so that they benefit from increased peace of mind.
Benefits of a Daily Routine
A routine helps to sharpen focus and it helps to ease your loved one’s agitation, which they can often feel when they do not understand what is happening. It also helps to plan for physical requirements so you are not caught out with practical things. Routine helps to slow the process of mental decline and can help a person live a better life for longer.
Ideal Location for a Routine
A routine should take place in your loved one’s home, which is where they will be familiar and more comfortable. Live in care can be very beneficial for helping your loved ones stick to a routine. It ensures they do not need to move from a familiar place and can stay in a secure and trusted environment that they know.