Routines can seem stifling or confining for many people, but they really don’t have to be. For the most part, routines are about building in support, for both you and your senior and her home care provider.
Routines Around the Circadian Rhythm
The circadian rhythm specifically refers to periods of sleeping and waking that last roughly 24 hours. This is the rhythm that causes your senior to feel sleepy around the same time each day or to wake up around the same time. Having good routines around sleeping and waking helps to support the circadian rhythm effortlessly. For instance, when your elderly family member has a strong bedtime routine that helps her to gradually wind down and be prepared for sleep, she is able to stick to a consistent bedtime without creating stress around that goal.
Routines Around Hygiene
Hygiene routines are similarly important. Your elderly family member may not need to take a full shower every day, for example, but she may want to give herself a sponge bath daily, with showers every other day. That’s one type of hygiene routine. Others involve taking care of her teeth or her dentures, to keep them clean and able to help her to eat. Take a look at where your senior’s hygiene routines are supporting her and where they might need some tweaking.
Routines Around Food
Your elderly family member’s routines around food and eating are also important. Food is how she gets the nutrients she needs to stay healthy and to fuel her body. Routines around how and when she shops for groceries as well as meal preparation routines are all crucial. Your senior is incredibly involved in these routines, even if you or home care providers are the ones actively doing the work of keeping those routines flowing. Keep your senior involved by letting her make decisions.
Other Types of Routines
There are plenty of other routines your elderly family member is going to need, too. Exercise routines, mental health routines, and more are all going to help her to find and to continue engaging in activities that help her to be healthy on all levels. She may want to explore the different ways she can incorporate these types of routines in her life.
Routines don’t have to have a stranglehold on your senior’s life at all. At their best and most helpful, routines are going to offer a structure for your senior that she can lean on.