Having a daily routine is helpful for both the caregiver and the person living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It allows for more time spent doing activities rather than trying to figure out what to do each day.
Caregivers should first figure out how they want to organize the day, including making time for themselves and including the person living with dementia in the activities the caregiver enjoys.
A structured day can reduce agitation and improve moods. When a caregiver plans activities, it allows them to see what fits best with who they’re caregiving for and experiment and make adjustments.
Before planning consider:
- The likes and dislikes of a person living with dementia.
- Their strengths and abilities.
- What time of day they are most active.
- What time of day would be best for eating, bathing and dressing.
- Their regular wake up and going to bed times.
- And while a structured plan is important, it is just as important to allow for flexibility.
- As the person living with dementia or Alzheimer’s condition progresses, their abilities will change as well, so the caregiver should always adapt and change with the daily care plan as time goes on.
Potential daily activities:
- Household chores
- Personal care
- Music or crafts
- Reading or puzzles
- Exercise, like a walk
- Social time
- Spiritual time
When writing the daily care plan, the caregiver should keep in mind which activities may not work and why they wouldn’t, as well as track the success of an activity day-to-day. Other things to keep in mind include which times of day need less activity and which needs more and how the person living with dementia reacted to a spontaneous activity.
The daily care plan should also feature times of rest, to give balance to the day for both the caregiver and the person.
If a person seems bored or irritable, it may be time for a different activity or a time for rest. The activity or how it’s completed is less important than the joy and the sense of accomplishment the person living with dementia can receive by doing it.