Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming for both seniors and family caregivers. The emotional component of Alzheimer’s can be the most difficult challenge of this debilitating disease as caregivers watch their loved ones face difficulty remembering things or completing everyday tasks. It’s important to have a structured daily routine to bring consistency and comfort to seniors and caregivers during this challenging time. Here are some tips for creating a schedule that works for you and your elderly loved one.
The goal of any routine is to bring consistency to daily tasks. While a senior with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty remembering to do certain things, a daily schedule doesn’t depend on memory but on ritual. For example, you can create consistency in your loved one’s routine by following certain rituals at the same time each day. Rather than preparing meals haphazardly, institute specific times for each meal of the day and stick to that schedule.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Create a Detailed Schedule
Your goal is to schedule with as much specificity as possible. In addition to regular times for meals, sleep schedules should also follow specific bedtimes and wake-up times. You can create blocks of time for activities like housecleaning, social visits, errands, and personal hygiene as well.
Put the Schedule in Writing & Refer to It Often
It’s not enough to simply keep the daily routine in your own head. Make sure you work with your loved one to create the schedule, and refer to it as often as possible. Consider using a large whiteboard or calendar and posting it prominently in the home. As the day progresses, you or your loved one can check off activities as you complete them. Referring to the schedule throughout the day will remind your loved one about upcoming activities and bring a sense of familiarity to the day.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Clearwater families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Use Cues to Transition throughout the Day
If you’re finding it difficult to move from one part of the routine to the next, think about how you can signal these transitions. For instance, dim the lights in the evening as bedtime approaches, and set the table before mealtimes. It can be helpful to include your loved one in these preparatory cues to ensure smooth transitions.
Acknowledge Any Interruptions
No matter how disciplined you are about preparing a consistent schedule, daily life inevitably interrupts even the best plans. On days with special events like doctor’s visits or holidays, make sure to remind your loved one that the day is unique. On those days, try to maintain as much of your regular schedule as possible, but make sure to acknowledge any important differences. By acknowledging these interruptions, you can minimize your loved one’s confusion.
While it can be challenging to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, establishing a daily routine can bring a great deal of order and comfort to the process. With a solid structure in place, you and your loved one will feel a sense of order and accomplishment each day.
If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Clearwater seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (727) 330-7862 today.