Caregivers and seniors depend on consistent daily routines and schedules.
Caring for an older adult is challenging and at times it can be overwhelming. Knowing what to expect, can take a lot of stress, worries, and confusion out of the day.
By organizing your days ahead of time, you can make life easier. Rather than spending each day trying to figure out what to do, you will free up time to spend on more meaningful activities and self-care.
Just as a routine can help you maintain your health, and have a positive caregiving experience, so can finding support and resources. The Kensington Falls Church and Hilarity for Charity (HFC), presented CareCon, a free, virtual event to help empower caregivers while educating and inspiring them.
During CareCon, caregivers learned how to use comedy for coping, connect with their senior loved ones through music, and minimize their stress and tension. Let’s talk about working those moments into your daily routine.
The Daily Routine of a Caregiver
Depending on how much support your senior loved one needs, your daily schedule and routine may vary. The routine you create should be one that makes life easier for your senior loved one, yourself, and others who are involved.
Whether your senior needs full-time assistance or only for support a few hours a day, you will still need to consider what each of your days looks like. Think about your work or school schedule, other daily responsibilities, and the activities and obligations your loved one has.
It is important to remember that while a schedule and routine are necessary for making your life easier, it should be flexible. What works some days, may change on other days, or as the condition of your loved one worsens.
The life of a caregiver is a busy one. Having a daily routine will help you remember if your loved one has done necessary things like take medication, eat, and bathe.
How a Daily Routine Benefits Seniors and Their Caregivers
Routines can reduce stress and anxiety while increasing feelings of calmness and security.
For seniors with a memory disease, schedules are especially effective. Even if your loved one is having cognitive difficulties and is unaware of their routine, doing the same things each day at a set time will make them feel safe.
It is easier for seniors to participate in activities and do what they should be doing when it is part of their routine. When there are fewer power struggles, the caregiver and senior are happier.
There is an endless list of responsibilities when you are a caregiver, so you may not get to spend quality time with your loved one. With a schedule, you can build in time to bond together.
Following a daily routine gives caregivers a chance to schedule in time for self-care, socializing, and time for breaks.
Creating an Effective Caregiver Daily Schedule
When designing a daily schedule, there are numerous things you should consider before organizing your loved one’s days.
Consider the following:
- Their likes
- What their schedule used to look like
- What time of day they have the most energy
- How long it takes them to eat, bathe, and get dressed
- What your schedule looks like
- Include “me time” activities and self-care
For seniors that are still fairly independent, or in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s Disease their daily schedule may resemble the one below.
- Brush teeth and hair, get dressed
- Prepare and eat breakfast
- Bond over coffee
- Try a craft
- Have some quiet time
- Do chores together if your senior is capable
- Take a walk or engage in another physical activity
- Prepare and eat lunch
- Wash dishes
- Engage in a relaxing activity, puzzles or a television show
- Listen to music, as mentioned during CareCon
- Get outside to garden or visit a friend
- Take a break or nap
- Prepare and eat dinner
- Clean up the kitchen
- Reminisce over dessert
- Play a board game or cards
- Give a massage
- Bath, ready for bed
Maintaining Balance as a Caregiver
Once you have an idea of what needs to be included in your senior loved one’s schedule, you can determine the times that you will take breaks and care for yourself.
Without those breaks, caregivers are susceptible to caregiver stress and caregiver burnout. Neglecting your own health and wellness can have long-lasting negative effects on your health.
Fortunately, following a routine, allows you to include yourself and your health. To maintain the perfect balance, you will likely want to give yourself time to participate in caregiver support groups.
The Kensington Falls Church hosts free, virtual support groups and events all year. This includes a series with Dr. Anya, Caregiver Connect, which is a caregiver support group with new topics discussed each month. Check out our events page to stay up-to-date and take those steps to self-care.
Speaking with others who understand the challenges you are facing can make you feel less alone and refreshed.
The Kensington Falls Church Empowers and Supports Caregivers
At The Kensington Falls Church, Our Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.
Throughout the year, we offer informational and fun events, similar to CareCon. To stay up to date on events and classes, they can be found on Kensington Konnect.
If you are a caregiver interested in transitioning your senior loved one or looking for caregiver support, reach out to our team.