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?
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.
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.
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