Routines are essential for seniors with Alzheimer’s who often rely upon familiar patterns to make sense out of their day. In addition to easing problems with memory and cognition, the reassurance of a daily routine can enhance a senior’s mood and provide a simple solution to struggles regarding their care. Creating the right routine can easily be accomplished by incorporating the following elements involved with Alzheimer’s in-home care.
Note the Senior’s Needs
The needs of a senior with Alzheimer’s can vary significantly depending upon the severity and stage of the disease. Conduct an assessment to identify which needs should be prioritized and put on a schedule. Medications, personal hygiene routines and meals are fairly common, but also consider adding exercise, therapy sessions and recreation to your loved one’s schedule as well.
Plan Around Down Times
Attempting a dreaded task when a person is tired, hungry, or bored is likely to end in failure. Respect your loved one’s down time and plan relaxing activities during those moments. Schedule appointments and other challenging tasks when your loved one is feeling best and most alert.
Implement Planned Transitions
Music, pictures, and body language can all serve as cues for what will happen next. Yet, keep in mind that those in the later stages of Alzheimer’s should be transitioned to a new event immediately as it happens. For example, playing a familiar song just before bed can help seniors prepare for sleep.
Synchronize Caregiver Schedules
Having caregivers follow different routines can be very disruptive to seniors with Alzheimer’s. Make sure that each member of the support team is in agreement with the routine and can realistically adhere to the schedule. You might also work with an agency like Home Care Assistance Centennial that believes in caregiver consistency, especially for clients with memory impairment.
Minimize the Impact of Changes
It is a fact of life that even the most carefully crafted routine will have to be adjusted to accommodate changing needs. When doing so, try to keep all of the other elements of the routine the same. For example, making sure your elderly loved one eats his or her regular meal before a new medical appointment can still provide the same reassurance even if the timing is slightly different that day.
For more information on providing quality care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, turn to the dedicated staff at Home Care Assistance. Although we offer hourly and live-in care, we are known for our comprehensive Alzheimer’s and dementia care Centennial families trust. Call us today at 303.957.3100 and request a complimentary in-home consultation with a dedicated Care Manager who can answer questions, discuss care plans, and help you get to know us better.