Having a daily routine is something which helps us all feel a little more ordered and in control of our lives, but having a regular structure in place can be particularly helpful to dementia patients.
There is something deeply comforting in familiarity. For people suffering from memory loss, routines can be both comforting and calming. And not only will it allow dementia patients to make meaningful contributions to daily life, giving them a much-needed sense of purpose, it will also help caregiving to run much more smoothly.
Routines don’t have to be set in stone and made to feel like a chore. Mixing up activities will help to keep things interesting, so don’t be afraid to experiment when planning things to do, but keeping some consistency and structure to each day is important.
Here, we’ve outlined some ideas of things you can do each day, along with some dementia aids you can introduce to help keep a daily routine in place.
Establish set times for everyday activities
Most of us are set in our ways and go about our daily routine without even thinking about it, but making an effort to establish a clear structure with dementia sufferers is really important. Having an order to the day can help to reduce anxiety and agitation, and can even improve mood, so try and set out regular times for meals, getting washed and dressed, taking medication and going to bed every day.
Dementia aids, such as clocks and to-do lists, can be helpful tools you can introduce to help people stick to a routine.
Involve them in household tasks
Allowing dementia sufferers to help out with household tasks will help them to feel both productive and independent. Simple tasks, such as putting away the laundry, helping to do the dishes, setting the table and other everyday chores, will give them a feeling of being useful and that they are contributing to daily life.
Also, encouraging people to feed themselves at meal times will enable them to hold onto that sense of independence, and with this specially designed dementia crockery, you won’t have to worry about any accidents or breakages.
Increase physical and mental exercise
Keeping people with dementia continually engaged physically, mentally and socially will help to maintain a sense of normality in their life and the results can be greatly beneficial. Activities like puzzles, games and reading are great for keeping the mind active, while physical exercise, such as walking or gardening, will help them to remain physically independent. Plus, the energy used throughout the day can also help with getting a good night’s rest, which can often be difficult for dementia patients.
Plan activities which suit their interests
Make an effort to tailor activities around the person’s interests, as this will encourage them to be more engaged and they will get more enjoyment out of their day. This could include simple things, such as listening to their favourite music, going for a walk around their favourite spot, or perhaps enjoying a day out to visit one of their closest friends.
Taking care of someone with dementia will always be a process of trial and error, so remember things will vary from day to day. Some days, people may be more distracted and irritable and want to spend time taking a rest, whereas other days may see them be more willing to go out and about. While a routine is good to have, sometime you will have to be flexible and modify your schedule to suit their needs. Patience and understanding are key, so try to be adaptable.
Keep up to date with our blog for other useful tips to help with Dementia .