Caring for a loved one requires a pragmatic approach, but establishing an elderly care routine can help make things easier for those concerned.
Here, we'll introduce you to some of the things that make a daily routine so beneficial and provide some initial advice for establishing a routine with your loved one.
What makes an elderly care routine so beneficial?
These are just some of the reasons why an elderly care routine can be so beneficial:
Sleeping and eating
By establishing a defined routine, your loved one's body will come to subconsciously expect nutrition and rest at similar times each day.
When this routine is aligned with visits from carers, it's much more likely that your loved one's needs will be satisfied through the course of the day.
A daily routine has been proven to improve sleep for the elderly without the need for medication. It can also help prevent your loved one from accidentally missing meals (a risk with cognitive conditions such as dementia).
Independence and security
Not knowing how their day will be structured is likely to reduce your loved one's sense of independence and security.
This can lead to feelings of confusion and anxiety, especially amongst those with dementia or those who are fully reliant on visits from carers.
In such cases, your loved one might well worry about if, or when, their needs will be met. Settling into a familiar routine can assure them of what, when and how things should happen.
This will help them feel more confident in their abilities, alleviate stress, and give them additional scope to plan non-essential activities for the day.
Benefits for carers
A regular routine can also make things easier for family carers, which in turn can enhance the quality of care provided.
Establishing a routine allows you to plan your day around your care responsibilities. This makes it easier to allocate time to other responsibilities, such as employment or family time.
Getting into a regular pattern and helping your loved one feel more settled is also likely to help you get more rest. This time for rest will help you in your everyday life and improve the quality of care provision for your loved one.
Things to consider when establishing a daily routine
Putting a routine in place takes time and dedication, but the rewards can really pay off. The routine you establish with your loved one should:
- Have their needs, preferences and old routine at its heart
- Be created in collaboration with your loved one, rather than be imposed on them
- Encompass waking, dressing, eating, sleeping, medication, visitations and any other special requirements
- Be flexible enough to adapt to special events, temporary illness/a worsening medical condition
Sticking to a routine can be especially difficult when you're based some distance from your loved one. Live-in care ensures there's a trained professional on-hand to support your loved one 24/7. This can help reinforce your loved one's routine by ensuring it stays the same, from the time they wake up until they go to sleep.
Learn more about the care techniques that can help older people maintain the best possible quality of life and how live-in care helps to promote this by calling on our friendly team.