When the world is full of insecurity and life seems to be changing too quickly, a daily schedule can do a lot to help with emotional stability and mental fortitude, especially for seniors. People tend to feel supported by routine and structure in their life after all.
If you’re caring for someone older, our Broward County elder care agency recommends having a set schedule to help both your loved one and yourself.
The Importance of Having a Daily Schedule for Seniors
We’re sure you’ve maintained a daily routine at some point in your life, so you know what it’s all about: doing the same activities at the same time every day, or at least at the same general time. A lot of people do this normally, like having meals at around the same time each day, but the benefits can’t be underestimated.
As people get older, they tend to feel like they’re losing control. You can’t control how you age, after all, so it tends to leave people feeling insecure. Having a schedule provides a person with something that they are in control of and that they know will happen the same way every day. They know what comes next with no sudden surprises.
Less Stress and Anxiety
It’s stressful to be wondering what will come next and to have no strong control over it. Especially if you’re older and cannot react well to sudden changes, not having a schedule actually causes a lot of anxiety. Setting a schedule not only reduces such changes, but it also provides a routine that people can comfortably follow.
Drifting throughout the day aimlessly can feel demoralizing and exhausting. Instead, create a routine to help someone older to feel as though they still have a purpose and are still accomplishing tasks in their day-to-day life.
Seniors tend not to sleep as well. If you have an established routine, you’ll sleep better with both a deeper sleep and a lengthier one. It’s much easier to tackle the day with a good night’s sleep behind you.
Tips for Maintaining a Schedule
You want to keep a schedule, but how do you do it? It’s actually much simpler than you might think.
If you’re having trouble starting a schedule, try aligning your day with the sunlight and with your body’s usual cycle. Wake up at the same time each day with the sun, and go to sleep at the same time each night. If you notice that an elder is a little tired during the day, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little afternoon nap. In the end, you don’t have to perfectly align yourself with the natural daylight hours, but you can still create consistency.
Keep your senior’s environment familiar. This can mean going for a walk around the same time every day as it’s a great way to create a routine. You also don’t want to move them to a completely different environment, in the case of dementia, unless it’s absolutely necessary. Changes tend to be difficult, after all.
Add some movement into your senior’s schedule, which will help them feel better and provide them with more energy to keep up with their schedule. Get them moving to keep circulation going and get them some oxygen. It will help them relax with some of their body’s natural rhythms.
It’s important for everyone to maintain a schedule, although it’s especially important for seniors. A schedule helps provide security and safety, while physically improving their health and anchoring them in a sense of familiarity and comfort.