5 Reasons to set a daily routine for your elders
When living with and caring for elderly family members, your priority should be to maximise safety. While you can read about the ways to help seniors prevent falls, an effective way to put safety first is to introduce the element of predictability into everyday living. Here, routine plays a key role. The logic is that if you can predict an elder’s movements throughout the day, you can avoid potential accidents or mishaps. In addition to that, daily routines also work beneficially for senior citizens with dementia.
Those with a progressive, degenerative dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease benefit greatly from having a set daily routine as it helps build muscle memory. Additionally, there are numerous health benefits to living off a schedule for all seniors. Ultimately, the goal with a daily routine is to make life easier for both elders and caregivers.
To shed some light on why a daily routine is crucial for seniors, here are 5 reasons to consider.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Getting through the day can be quite a challenging task for elders, especially for those with cognitive impairments. Feelings of disorientation or uneasiness generally arise when an elder feels lost or has no task to look forward to. This may also increase stress and anxiety levels. This is unhealthy, especially for those with dementia, and can lead to unpleasant events or episodes.
Having a set routine gives the elder a sense of direction to the day, and this alleviates the feeling of losing control over one’s life. With a predictable routine, the anxiety linked to ‘what’s next’ is no longer present, resulting in much-needed peace.
It isn’t uncommon for elders to experience poor sleep quality, especially those with cognitive impairments. Sleep deprivation has serious side effects on elders as it causes lack of energy and can leave them feeling a lot more irritable than normal. This altered mood could also affect their outlook toward the day, making everyday tasks a lot harder to get through.
Thankfully, studies show that having a set routine helps reduce sleep deprivation and promote deeper sleeping. With better, longer sleep, elders are likely to be in a good mood, feel energetic, and have a more positive outlook.
Helps manage symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
For senior citizens with Alzheimer’s disease, feeling disoriented due to memory loss is a common stressor. One of the best ways to help with that is to develop muscle memory, which is easily achieved with a daily routine. This is because the part of the brain that controls procedural memory is not affected very much by this disease. As such, routines are more easily accommodated and maintained.
Minimises the side effects of sundowning
Sundowning is a state of confusion that normally occurs with dementia patients in the late afternoon and often all through into dusk. This can be very disorienting and cause severe anxiety and so, eliminating it should be a priority. A good way to do so is by setting a routine, especially for sleeping and waking hours. This can prevent overtiredness during the later parts of the day and into the evening.
Offers a sense of security and assurance
As mentioned earlier, elders with memory or cognitive impairments are often anxious about their day. The inability to depend on themselves to get through the day can be very unnerving and having a structure to follow works wonders. A predictable routine makes for safety and offers comfort as they know their needs will be met.
When it comes down to it, having a set routine is the easiest, most efficient way to keep elders at home safe and stress-free. In fact, it works so well that such a practice is also followed at leading senior care centres in the country. At Kshetra’s Assisted Living facility, our residents enjoy the benefit of living everyday life on a routine that’s comfortable for them. With trained non-medical staff to assist with feeding and daily tasks such as bathing and grooming, all residents are promised quality care at all times.
In situations where home care for elders with dementia isn’t adequate, consider Kshetra’s Dementia Care Program. Here, residents have access to specialised care, physical activities, social activities, cognitive activities, consultations with a psychologist and more.
To learn about our elder care services in Hyderabad, get in touch with Kshetra.