The Benefits of a Daily Routine for Seniors and Family Caregivers

A daily routine benefits seniors and reduces stress and insecurity.

A daily routine benefits seniors and reduces stress and insecurity.

No longer punching a time clock. Staying up late. Sleeping in. Creating your own schedule. While there are many advantages to retirement and no longer needing to structure life around a 9 to 5 schedule or a typical work week, the lack of a daily routine for seniors can be challenging for older adults and their caregivers.

For seniors with cognitive issues, the lack of a schedule can lead to feelings of stress and insecurity. These feelings can bring about reduced sleep, or sleep during non-traditional hours, and can add additional challenges for family caregivers who may also be juggling a career and school-aged children.

A daily routine brings predictability to the life of a senior and his or her loved one, and it can also go a long way toward improving overall health and wellbeing. By establishing regular times for daily activities, it’s easier to remember if medications are taken and to monitor nutrition and hydration. For example, consider structuring a routine around these common daily activities:

  • Waking up in the morning
  • Bathing and using the bathroom
  • Taking medications as prescribed
  • Meals and snack times
  • Exercise, indoors and out
  • Activities and outings
  • Sleeping at night

While it’s always important to remain flexible, with structure and predictability, seniors can gain a number of benefits from establishing a solid routine:

  1. Greater security. Many people don’t like surprises, and for seniors experiencing cognitive decline, not knowing when particular daily events may occur can add to their stress and exacerbate memory issues. A daily routine helps seniors feel greater levels of safety and security because they know approximately what to expect and when. Routines are also especially beneficial for seniors with more advanced Alzheimer’s and dementia. While they may no longer be aware of time, having structure to each day helps reduce challenging behaviors like sundowning and agitation.
  2. Less anxiety and stress. For seniors who require a greater level of hands-on care, having a routine can calm anxiety about when day-to-day activities will occur. This is especially true for a senior who needs assistance using the bathroom, eating, and getting around safely. Knowing when to expect assistance with daily care needs reduces stress and helps the senior feel more confident.
  3. Better sleep. Night after night of poor sleep is extremely taxing for both seniors and their loved ones. For seniors with cognitive impairment, it’s not unusual for the circadian rhythm to no longer align with a traditional wake and sleep schedule. A routine establishes regular times for waking and sleeping and can help by monitoring late day naps that may interfere with a good night’s sleep. In addition, a daily routine can help seniors eliminate late night caffeinated beverages or foods that may cause restless, disrupted sleep. Having good sleep hygiene helps signal to the mind and body that it’s time to slow down, relax and unwind before going to bed.

An in-home caregiver from Visiting Care Giving Services, a provider of top-rated senior services in St. Charles, MO and nearby areas, helps older adults and their family caregivers maintain a daily routine. Our compassionate team of caregivers will come alongside your senior loved one to help ensure the schedule you set is maintained, freeing you up to spend more time together enjoying one another’s company. Let us help by:

Providing engaging companionship and interesting conversation

  • Participating in favorite hobbies, playing card or board games, or reading a favorite book
  • Planning and preparing healthy meals and snacks, and cleaning up afterward
  • Encouraging regular physician-approved exercise and movement
  • Taking the night shift when sleep is elusive for a senior loved one
  • And so much more

To learn more family caregiving tips that can help establish and maintain a daily routine that is best for you and your senior loved one, email Visiting Care Giving Services or give us a call today at (636) 493-9058 . Our experienced care team offers trusted elder care services in St. Charles and the surrounding areas  and we would love to share more about how we can help you!