Dementia is a progressive and debilitating disease which can be as tough on carers as it is on the sufferer. One of the things that has been shown to help dementia sufferers is a solid routine. Whether that means having the same cup of tea every morning, taking a walk at the same time each day, or continuing to live in familiar surroundings, routine allows dementia sufferers to exert control over an increasingly chaotic life. What exactly does it mean for a dementia sufferer to have routine and stability in their life?
Dementia and Familiarity
People suffering from dementia or memory loss thrive much better when they have familiar routines and familiar structures in place. These familiar things can act as a secure guarantee that they are safe, and help people understand where they are and who they are. The routine and sense of familiarity is increasingly important as people lose the ability to make plans, or to initiate activities. New things can be much harder for people with dementia to deal with, according to experts, and a familiar routine can take away stress and allow people to focus on the task in hand without being distracted by what is unfamiliar.
Daily Routines Help Memory
If a relative is suffering from memory loss, a useful thing to do is to start a daily routine that is kept up as much as possible. Creating this specific cycle of events helps take the stress from the dementia sufferer, allowing them to perform tasks without worrying what will come next.
It is important, when creating a routine, to match it as closely as possible to your relative’s personal preferences and what they have always enjoyed doing, and when. It would be counterproductive to put a routine in place that was vastly different to the routine they had before they began to suffer from memory loss. Different factors to link into a routine include certain television programs they like to watch, activities outside the home which are enjoyable, times when they are with family and friends, and set times to eat meals. Other factors to consider include setting times for giving medication, going to the toilet and bathing, and exercise.
Home Care and Familiarity
One of the best ways to maintain consistent familiarity and a good routine is to allow a dementia sufferer to stay in their own home for as long as possible. Care at home provides the stability and the security of being surrounded by familiar objects, furniture, and pets. Sometimes it is impossible to keep up routines in the face of appointments or unexpected events, but it is always a good idea to have a firm routine as a base.