Routines simplify and smooth life for caregivers
When you spend a lot of time caring for an older adult, the last thing you need is more struggle in your life. Establishing a consistent routine for your older adult will help your days run more smoothly.
Routines cut down on uncertainty, arguments, and decision-making — reducing overall stress. Plus, a routine benefits your older adult too.
And, sticking with a routine might even free up more energy and brainpower to help you find more ways to take care of yourself.
We explain what a caregiving routine is and 5 ways they make your life easier.
What is a caregiving routine?
A routine is doing the same basic activities around the same time every day. This gives structure and a natural flow to the day.
For example, part of a regular daily routine for your older adult might be to wake up at 8am, use the toilet, brush teeth, comb hair, change from pajamas to regular clothes, then sit down to a hot breakfast of oatmeal and (decaf) coffee.
5 ways caregiving routines make your day easier
1. Stop the power struggles
Many seniors hate being told what to do (don’t we all?).
If they have a consistent daily or weekly routine, you’re not just bossing them around. The activity is simply what’s done at this time (getting dressed, eating, bathing, etc.). Once the routine becomes a natural part of their day, they’ll be more likely to go with the flow of activities.
2. Increase cooperation
Nobody likes surprises. When you and your senior know exactly what’s going to happen and when, stress and uncertainty are reduced.
When older adults can anticipate the next task or activity, they can mentally prepare and will be more willing to participate than if they feel surprised by a seemingly random activity.
3. Reduce the number of decisions you have to make
Making decisions all day is tiring, even if they’re minor.
Save mental energy by creating a routine and then sticking to it. Having most of the day pre-decided significantly reduces the number of choices you’ll have to make.
4. Improve your sleep
Good quality sleep is essential for good health. Regular routines help older adults (and you!) get on a schedule.
That will help both of you fall asleep more easily at night. And if your senior sleeps well, you’ll sleep better too.
5. Build in time to enjoy each other
With all the responsibilities of caregiving, it’s easy to forget about spending quality time with your older adult. Make it easier by building a few meaningful moments to connect into the daily routine.
This could be as simple as starting each morning with a hug, ending the day with a bedtime song, or enjoying a nice walk in the park every Sunday afternoon.
Recommended for you:
- Why a Daily Routine Is Important for Seniors
- When They Say No: 8 Ways to Introduce In-Home Care for Seniors
- 6 Ways to Make It Easier for Caregivers to Take a Break
By DailyCaring Editorial Team