Jun 22, 2017 by Kristina Butler
Providing adult home care for a senior loved one comes with many benefits and challenges. In many cases, one of the greatest challenges is simply keeping your head wrapped around the constant and never-ending list of tasks and chores that need to be accomplished. Complicating matters even more, a wrench can be thrown in even the best-laid plans every time there is a sickness or injury.
Adult home care professionals will tell you that the key to managing the many juggled balls is establishing effective daily routines. This does not mean that you have to operate on a strict schedule and watch the clock like George Banks in Mary Poppins, but having a structured flow to daily events helps caregivers remember what they are doing and reduces the chances that something will be overlooked.
Daily routines also help reduce senior stress and anxiety. Many seniors are not fond of the unknown. They like to know what is going on now and what to expect later. This is especially true for seniors who are suffering from any level of cognitive or memory issues. When tasks, chores, and activities are known and predictable, seniors feel like they have a greater sense of control over their lives, which, in turn, reduces the stress associated with a lack of order and structure.
When creating daily routines, try to keep activities as close to the senior's normal life as possible. For example, some people like to bath in the morning and others prefer to bathe before they go to bed. If your senior loved one enjoys having a shower in the morning before breakfast and has done so for most of their life, then try to add this into the routine instead of trying to force nighttime or mid-day bathing.
Routines should also be based on current reality. As seniors require more and more assistance, tasks will take longer than they did in the past. Be sure to allow plenty of time to complete each task or daily activity so you don't end up feeling rushed, which adds to stress instead of relieving it. Some of the most common activities that take longer than expected include eating, bathing, and dressing.
It cannot be stressed enough that daily routines should be guidelines used to keep order and predictability. They are not intended to become strict schedules. The best routines leave plenty of time in the day for creativity and spontaneity. Routines should also be flexible enough to adjust to a senior's changing needs.
For more information about daily routines, or to find out how Comfort Keepers adult home care can help your senior loved one to maximize their independence and quality of life, contact a senior care coordinator today.