Having a good routine in place can make the difference between a bad day or a good day for someone living with Alzheimer’s. In a world that is increasingly confusing, unfamiliar, and overwhelming, routines offer comfort and stability. Familiar touchpoints throughout the day can go a long way in keeping your loved one content. Those repeated moments of familiarity each day instills a feeling of security and control, which can improve overall demeanor.
But when the routine gets disrupted, we often see changes in behavior including agitation, disorientation, or even depression. Your loved one may even resist change which can lead to frustration for both of you. Common disruptions might include a trip to the ER, traveling, a new home, a new caregiver, or seasonal activities such as visiting family members over the holiday or family gatherings. This is one of the reasons bringing your loved one home for the holidays may not always be what’s best for them, depending on the stage of disease. Try to avoid these disruptions when at all possible, and get back to your usual routine as soon as you can.
So whether it’s a cup of coffee at the same time every morning, a regular afternoon walk, or a favorite news program before bed, a regular routine can drastically improve quality of life not only for your loved one, but for you as well!