How Daily Routine is Better for People with Dementia
Hello and welcome to our Wednesday Workshop. We all use routines – whether we recognize it or not. Humans are creatures of habit. Routines can be comprised of eating breakfast every morning, getting your nails done on Fridays, or walking the dog after dinner each night. Daily routines provide a sense of comfort and control over our day. Think about it! Since Alzheimer’s disease and dementia affects a person’s memory, it’s much easier for them to follow a routine than to have things changed often. That’s why certain holidays and celebrations can be upsetting to your loved one with dementia. During those times, their routine is changed and decorations make the environment look different. This causes confusion and anxiety.
Consistent routines are calming and reassuring for people living with dementia.
People suffering from memory loss “thrive on familiarity” says Holly Hart. She also states that, “familiar faces, familiar environments, even familiar food is comforting – anything they can use as a touchstone.” This comforting sense of familiarity is so helpful because routines are more-likely associated with our long-term memory and since Alzheimer’s typically affects the short-term memory first, the memory of a routine will remain well into the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are the benefits of maintaining a routine with your aging loved one:
1. Maintains Functioning. Daily practice of a physical or mental activity may increase the likelihood of that ability remaining throughout the stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Reduces Anxiety. Your loved one may feel more comfortable and confident if he/she knows what to expect.
3. Decreased Caregiver Stress. Routines make the day more organized, even for the caregiver.
4. Independence. Activities that have been practiced often, like setting the table, can increase your loved ones self-esteem and confidence because they can perform the task independently.
To learn more or to speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center, feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199 or email us below. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!