5 reasons why a daily care routine is important to you
And by ‘you’ that is for your loved one and yourself. To provide a daily care routine you must be conscious of everyone involved. This is important for your mental wellbeing and health.
So, the first question has to be what is a daily care routine? In essence, it’s carrying out the same activities at the same time each day.
The essential tasks many of us probably take for granted. Like getting washed then dressed in the morning, drinking fluids, eating meals and taking medication. All things that become more of a challenge as you get older, maybe suffer from a long-term illness or if you have dementia.
A great starting point is to understand your care needs. Establish how much support and at what time of day would be best for your loved one. Once you know this you can build a daily care routine and start to enjoy the benefits.
It’s very easy for a situation to spiral out of control. Everyday activities for older people or those with dementia can feel a little daunting. Then all of a sudden it seems others are trying to take over how you live your life.
Working together to create a routine for your loved one can help alleviate these feelings. You can discuss then agree on the daily activities. The sort of support they need and when during the day.
For some, it’s difficult to let go or lose any kind of control. It’s their independence which for most of us is very precious. This is why you need to involve them. Position them at the centre of the decision-making process and give them a sense of ownership. The benefit to you will be greater cooperation and a quicker acceptance of how things are done.
Many individuals needing additional care at home will experience a range of emotions. In particular, stress can be a common feeling. If you talk to your loved one you might find some of these scenarios sound familiar:
A home care plan that has been properly thought through with your loved one can help reduce these feelings. It will give them the sense that whilst their circumstances have changed to the extent they need additional help, there is still plenty to enjoy.
If your loved one has dementia there will be a lot more situations that can trigger stress. It can be the simplest of activities such as the arrival of a visitor, a letter in the post or running out of milk.
A daily routine can help reduce the impact of these scenarios. Managing daily tasks, anticipating any changes and positioning them correctly with your loved one will minimise any resistance.
As a Carer, you need to look after yourself. The daily routine of taking care of a loved one is challenging. But the fact you have a routine and know what is happening each day will help to reassure you that the right level of care is being provided.
Because you have this peace of mind, you will be able to take a rest in-between visits and ultimately sleep better. You will feel secure in the knowledge your loved one is being looked after and cared for. Important elements for your wellbeing and it will make the whole Carer experience more fulfilling.
For your loved one they also need to be able to relax and sleep. Excessive tiredness will lead to irritable or less rational behaviour which can be draining for everyone. Building these elements into the routine will ensure they happen.
And finally, a routine is a great opportunity to make sure your loved one eats regularly. Providing a well-balanced diet to meet their nutritional needs. Prompting fluids regularly is also very important. With regular care, you can record what is being offered and consumed.
It’s great to build a daily routine but don’t become too rigid with it. Remember the needs of your loved one are at the centre of what you do and will change over time. This means you should recognise when this is happening and consider what you need to adapt.
Sticking to the same routine when you know things have changed will only serve to increase the stress levels. Think about how you initially approached home care. Follow the same inclusive process with your loved one. It may feel a bit daunting but once everyone is settled into the new routine it will become much easier once again.
It can be very easy to forget the simple things in life like just enjoying each others company. You need to balance your care. Remember this is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your loved one. You should make the most of them. A daily routine will help you find the time.
Why not build into your plan these activities. Time to sit down for afternoon tea or go out to your favourite café. Maybe play some card or board games even sort out the old family photos, a job you’ve probably always been meaning to do. This is the special side of caring. The precious moments that you should both enjoy whilst you can.
If you find this time is being squeezed because you have so much to do, why not think about introducing other Carers. Let them help you so you can enjoy time with your loved one.