Whether it’s a weekly workout routine or a nightly self-care routine to help you unwind after a long day, routines help us establish structure in our everyday lives. Personal routines provide a sense of comfort and control and are especially beneficial for older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Adding predictability to a senior’s day can help reduce stress, anxiety, and frustration while adding a sense of familiarity as memory loss progresses.
There are many benefits to establishing routines for dementia care including:
Routine alleviates stress and anxiety.
A predictable routine can help seniors with memory loss feel less overwhelmed as they go about their day. As dementia and Alzheimer’s progress, seniors tend to become increasingly agitated with their loss of cognitive and physical abilities. Consistency in schedules, such as eating dinner at the same time every evening or taking their medications every morning with breakfast, can help them face the day with a greater sense of peace and confidence.
Routines provide a sense of security.
When days are unscheduled or unpredictable, it can lead to irritability and fear in individuals with dementia. People suffering from memory loss thrive on familiarity. That is why it is so important to have consistent daily routines, caregivers, and activities to help loved ones with dementia feel comfortable with their surroundings. Even though someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s may not be consciously aware of the routine, following a regular schedule will help them feel more grounded while also reducing many challenging behaviors that result from feeling unsettled.
Routines maintain independence.
When you help an older adult with dementia regularly practice an activity, whether it’s eating a meal, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, or playing cards, it can help them maintain their functional abilities as the disease gets worse. Similarly, it may also increase their confidence because the senior recognizes that they can successfully perform these activities on their own.
Routines decrease caregiver burnout.
Finally, routines can reduce the strain and stress on caregivers by making the day more organized and predictable. This also lessens the likelihood of challenging behaviors from a senior with dementia and offers more opportunities for positive interactions.
Can your loved one benefit from specialized memory care?
As symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s worsen, there may come a time when family members can no longer play the role of caregiver in their loved one’s life. Fortunately, today’s memory care communities can positively impact your family’s life, offering relief from caregiver burnout as well as a safe, nurturing environment that provides a level of care that is difficult to provide on your own.
So how do you know it is time for your aging parent with dementia to transition to a memory care community? Here are some telltale signs:
- The many demands of being the caregiver is wearing you down or making you feel resentful.
- Taking care of your loved one is interfering with work, your hobbies, or your relationships with other people.
- Your loved one needs around-the-clock care.
- You cannot leave your loved one alone at home because it is unsafe.
- You do not know how to manage your loved one’s challenging behaviors.
- You struggle to provide routine and consistency in your loved one’s life.
Senior Living Experts Can Help
If you are considering memory care services for your loved one, it is important to research your options carefully and choose a community that meets their requirements. While this process may seem overwhelming, we can help!
If you live in the Chicagoland area, there are local advisors available to help you every step of the way. At Senior Living Experts, we offer free services to families looking for the right long-term care community for their loved one. Our process includes:
We gather information necessary for proper placement, including your needs, location, and budget.
We get to know your needs and preferences before using our deep knowledge of senior communities and industry connections to narrow down your options.
Your advisor will accompany you on tours so your search can be as thorough as possible.
Following your loved one’s move, we will continuously check in to make sure everything is going well.
Connect with an advisor today to learn more about our services!