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  • Writer's pictureTravis Slaby

Navigating the Day: Structured Activities for Loved Ones with Dementia

Establishing a consistent routine is crucial for individuals with dementia. It provides a sense of security, reduces anxiety, and helps them navigate their day more smoothly. Here are practical steps to create an effective routine:

Morning Rituals:

Wake-Up Time: Start the day at the same time each morning. Consistency helps regulate sleep patterns.

Personal Care: Assist with grooming, dressing, and toileting. Use simple, step-by-step instructions.

Breakfast: Offer a nutritious breakfast. Familiar foods can be comforting.

Structured Activities:

Engage in Familiar Tasks: Encourage activities they enjoy, such as reading, puzzles, or gardening.

Exercise: Gentle exercises like walking or chair yoga can improve mood and physical health.

Social Interaction: Arrange visits or phone calls with family and friends.

Mealtime Routine:

Regular Meal Times: Serve meals at consistent times. Use visual cues like placemats or colored plates.

Simple Meals: Opt for easy-to-eat foods. Minimize distractions during meals.

Afternoon and Evening Activities:

Quiet Time: After lunch, allow for rest or quiet activities. Avoid overstimulation.

Sundowning Strategies:

As evening approaches, create a calming environment. Dim lights, play soothing music, and avoid caffeine.

Dinner Routine:

Follow a similar structure as breakfast. Keep dinner light.

Bedtime Rituals:

Wind Down: Engage in calming activities like reading or listening to soft music.

Nighttime Hygiene: Assist with brushing teeth, changing into pajamas, and using the bathroom.

Consistent Bedtime: Aim for the same bedtime each night.

Visual Aids:

Clocks and Calendars: Place large clocks and calendars in visible areas. Highlight important events.

Visual Schedules: Use pictures or written cues to outline the day’s activities.

Flexibility and Adaptability:

Be Patient:

Understand that routines may need adjustments. Adapt as needed.

Observe Patterns:

Notice when your loved one is most alert or agitated. Adjust the routine accordingly.

Remember, gentle redirection is essential if they become confused or upset. Use positive language and focus on their feelings rather than correcting facts.

Lastly, take care of yourself too—seek support, rest, and maintain your own well-being while caring for your loved one. Hopefully these tips can help you establish a consistent routine for your loved one. Please feel free to comment on this post. If would like to learn more about ARIS at home's services Click Here

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