Have you ever awoken from a dream feeling totally disoriented? The dream seemed so real, that it takes a moment to regain your bearings. For someone with dementia, this confusion is part of everyday life. To help a loved one feel more secure, establishing a daily routine for dementia patients is an easy-to-implement solution that helps reduce stress and anxiety for both the individual with dementia and family caregivers.
How Can a Daily Routine for Dementia Patients Help?
Short-term memory loss makes it challenging for someone with dementia to learn and remember new things. A familiar routine helps build self-confidence, reinforce a feeling of independence, and reduce anxiety.
To establish the most comfortable daily routine for dementia patients, try the following:
- Follow their lead. Retain any routines the older adult 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.
- Modify as needed. Over time, as the disease progresses, the person’s ability level will change, which makes it harder to complete parts of their routine. The goal should be to always make an effort to provide as many opportunities for independence as you possibly can, even if modifications are needed.
- Make it meaningful. Include time every day for responsibilities that enhance the person’s sense of purpose and self-worth in accordance with their abilities: folding laundry, sorting papers, mixing a salad, etc.
- Choose activities that are connected with lifelong interests. Consider the individual’s particular interests and incorporate those in some manner into their routine: fishing, music, gardening, knitting, etc.
Needless to say, we all know that life does not always allow us to follow a predictable routine. Family caregivers need and deserve to take time away from their care duties for self-care, whether just a few hours every week or an extended vacation. It can be great for the individual in your care to have a respite caregiver step in before taking time away, incorporating them into the routine as much as possible. That will likely make it simpler for you to step away, knowing the senior is already comfortable and familiar with their professional caregiver.
The most effective dementia care calls for specialized training and expertise. Our dementia caregivers are specialists in providing creative, patient care and alleviating the difficult symptoms of the disease, and we are here with just as much or little assistance as you need. Contact Radiant Health Services any time at (240) 673-6377 for a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more.