Routine is an important part of anyone’s life, but finding the right routine can be essential for elderly people living in care homes or receiving domiciliary care (in their own home) to feel comfortable and independent.
The transition to receiving professional care as an older person can be challenging, emotional, and sometimes confusing. If your care situation involves moving into a nursing home or assisted living setting you may experience some upheaval, including changes to your daily routines, but caregivers should make efforts to retain familiarity wherever possible and to find ways to make you feel reassured and supported during the move.
When working out a new routine, you and your carers will need to factor in your practical needs and personal preferences to find the right balance. Dementia and other mental health issues can affect memory and motor skills, making it difficult to carry out daily tasks without help, in which case your carers will need to be involved in making sure you receive the assistance you need for day-to-day routines like personal hygiene, getting dressed, preparing and eating meals, and taking medication.
A familiar and stable routine can help to make you feel at home in your new residence as well as reducing stress which can result when you feel anxious or uncertain about what you are supposed to be doing. Of course, routines should also have flexibility to allow you to incorporate your own hobbies and ideas, attend events, visit friends, go shopping, or simply be spontaneous! Overly-restrictive routines can be depressing and don’t provide the stimulation anyone living in care needs.
When looking for care homes or care providers, it’s a good idea to explore the types of activities offered, and ask for an example of an average daily routine. Speak to your care provider about being involved in the decisions about your daily routine, and how much flexibility there is for making adaptations.
If you need advice or information on any aspect of elderly care in the UK, please visit www.mycaremyhome.co.uk for free and impartial support, along with listings of high quality care providers near you.