The demands of caregiving can be very overwhelming, and you may feel the stress of trying to balance all your responsibilities. Caring for a senior loved one can be a daily struggle, but having a consistent routine in place can help your days run a little more smoothly.
What is a Daily Routine?
A routine provides the predictable sequence of events that happen day after day. It is the structure that sets a natural flow for the day. Activities such as wake up, personal care, meal times, activity times, rest time, household chores, and bed time are done around the same time each day.
4 Ways a Daily Schedule can Reduce Stress for Caregivers
- Put an end to the power struggles- A predictable daily routine helps take some pressure off caregivers. Instead of seeming bossy or demanding, the caregiver is following the usual flow of the day. Senior parents don’t like to told what to do, and a consistent schedule helps alleviate some of the power struggles.
- Make your work easier- Having structure already pre-decided for the day helps the day and week go much smoother. A schedule helps you get into a rhythm that works well for your senior loved one, and you save time by not making so many decisions. You are balancing so many responsibilities, why waste your mental energy on little details throughout the day. A routine helps keeps you focused on the needs of the day and helps you get things done efficiently.
- Increase opportunity for quality time- It is so easy to let the to-do list take over as you try to juggle daily life. Often caregivers forget to invest in relationships and spend quality time with their loved one. You can incorporate meaningful moments into your daily schedule and intentionally create memories together. Whether it is an afternoon stroll, a coffee break, or a card game, it is important to spend time together.
- Improve Senior Involvement- Senior adults can get anxiety when they don’t have a plan or are uncertain how the day will go. A predictable routine helps decrease stress and give seniors time to mentally prepare for the next activity. Seniors are more willing to be involved and cooperate if they know what to expect. A schedule gives your senior loved one a sense of purpose, as well as activities to look forward to.
A routine is a road map to the day. There can be lots of flexibility within your schedule. Be sure to enjoy life and throw in those special treats to liven things up. Stop for a smoothie after a doctor’s appointment, take a walk on the beach after dinner, explore new places, visit friends, attend special events, play with your grandchildren, stay involved with hobbies. Don’t get into a rut, be sure to keep life fun and exciting.
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