Developing day-to-day routines

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

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Having a general daily routine in Alzheimer's and dementia care helps caregiving run smoothly. These routines won't be set in stone, but they give a sense of consistency, which is beneficial to the Alzheimer's patient even if they can't communicate it.

While every family will have their own unique routine, you can get some great ideas and help from our caregivers, especially regarding establishing routines to handle the most challenging times of day, such as evenings.

  • Keep a sense of structure and familiarity. Try to keep consistent daily times for activities such as waking up, mealtimes, bathing, dressing, receiving visitors, and bedtime. Keeping these things at the same time and place can help orientate the person.
  • Let the person know what to expect even if you are not sure that he or she completely understands. You can use cues to establish the different times of day. For example, in the morning you can open the curtains to let sunlight in. In the evening, you can put on quiet music to indicate it's bedtime.
  • Involve the person in daily activities as much as they are able. For example, a person may not be able to tie their shoes, but may be able to put clothes in the hamper. Clipping plants outside may not be safe, but the person may be able to weed, plant, or water. Use your best judgment as to what is safe and what the person can handle.