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The Importance of Having Daily Routines for Elderly Parents

Providing your elderly parents with a daily routine is one of the most helpful things you can do for them. We are all creatures of habit and can benefit from having a predictable schedule, especially seniors. Having a daily routine boosts mental and physical health, two things we all want to support in our aging parents. To help you achieve that goal, we’re sharing some of the top tips and benefits to help you get started.

Routines Help Your Parents Feel More in Control

As your parents get older, they may start feeling as though they have no control over their lives, particularly as they start needing more assistance. That’s even more true if your parents have health problems that resulted in physical or cognitive impairment. Having a predictable daily routine relieves disorientation and the feeling of not knowing what’s going to happen throughout their day. It replaces that stress and anxiety with the comfort and reassurance of knowing what activity they will be doing, the person they are doing it with and their schedule. Over time, the routine activities become almost second nature. This gives your parents a stronger feeling of independence.

Routines Help Manage Symptoms of Cognitive Decline

That same stress and anxiety aging parents experience as they need increasing amounts of help are compounded for parents with Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The disease slowly makes it harder for an aging adult to carry out their daily living activities. The familiarity of a daily routine not only helps relieve stress and anxiety, it may help to calm potential irritability and aggression. It boosts confidence and self-esteem for the aging adult and may help to decrease caregiver stress.

Routines Support Healthy Eating

Two of the common problems among aging adults are forgetting to get groceries and forgetting to eat their meals. Following a regular schedule reduces the odds your parents will forget to eat a meal and nourish their bodies. Use a chart to make grocery lists, schedule a shopping day and create a daily eating schedule; including the day, time and type of meal the person will be enjoying, such as snack, breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Routines Encourage Improved Sleeping Patterns

Pre-bedtime routines can drastically help to improve sleeping patterns. Getting up and going to bed at the same time can contribute to a better quality sleep for an aging adult. As we age there are lots of factors that can make it difficult to get enough rest, including
medications, medical issues, stress, and lack of exercise. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep is important for overall health. Keeping a regular schedule for sleep is vital to overall health and makes it easier to set bedtime routines ensuring an ample amount of

Helping Aging Parents Create a Daily Routine

Talk to your aging parents about creating a daily routine for themselves. Get their input on what is important for them. Make sure these goals are realistic, and include common daily living activities; waking up, activities, an eating schedule, and bedtime routine. Creating a chart will form structure, and support success in the daily schedule.

Include all caregivers, medical appointments, and doctors names in the calendar. Ensure that the expected schedule is tailored to the person. Not everyone is a morning person or night owl. Slowly change unhealthy activities, and habits into better ones. For example, if your elderly parent likes a bowl of ice cream before bedtime, suggest something healthier like a piece of fruit or cheese. Don’t forget to include caregivers in the routine because it’s essential your parents know when people are coming and who will be showing up.

We hope these helpful tips support a healthy routine for the aging adult in your life.

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