Have you ever been completely confused after waking up from a dream? The dream seemed so real, and it takes a minute to regain your bearings. For aging adults with dementia, that feeling is something they can go through every day. Our goal in caring for someone with dementia is to help provide as much stability as possible, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by sticking to a predictable routine.
How Can a Routine Assist Aging Adults with Dementia?
Short-term memory loss makes it challenging for someone with dementia to learn and remember new things. An established routine helps to boost independence, lower anxiety, and build self-confidence.
To create the most comfortable routine for an aging adult with dementia, try the following:
- Follow their lead. Keep in place any routines the senior already has established: a morning shower before breakfast, meals at the same seat at the table as always, an afternoon television program, a walk after dinner, etc.
- Choose activities that relate to lifelong interests. Consider the individual’s specific interests and incorporate those in some way into their routine: music, gardening, fishing, crocheting, etc.
- Adjust as needed. Over time, as the disease progresses, the person’s ability level will change, making it harder to accomplish parts of their routine. The goal must be to always make an effort to provide as many opportunities for independence that you can, even though modifications are needed.
- Make it meaningful. Include time each day for responsibilities that maximize the person’s sense of purpose and self-worth, based on their abilities: folding laundry, sorting papers, mixing a salad, etc.
It goes without saying that life doesn’t always make it easy to follow a standard routine. Family caregivers need and deserve to take time off from their care duties for self-care, whether just a couple of hours every week or an extended vacation. It can be beneficial for the senior in your care to have a respite caregiver step in prior to taking time away, incorporating them into the routine as much as possible. That will likely make it easier for you to step away, knowing the senior is already comfortable and familiar with their professional caregiver.
The most effective dementia care requires specialized expertise and training. Our dementia caregivers are experts in providing innovative, patient care and easing the difficult symptoms of the disease, and we are here with just as much or little assistance as you need. If you need Brentwood home care or care in the nearby areas, contact us online, or call us any time at 213-383-2273 for a free in-home consultation to find out more information.