Alzheimers – Creating a Daily Plan

cheerful young girl ironing and helping elderly woman at home

Alzheimers – Creating a Daily Plan

I found a interesting article on the Alzheimer Organization’s website that I want to share with you. The article discusses how to create a daily plan (creating-a-plan) for a person living with Alzheimers.

Whether you are a family Caregiver or using paid Care Providers for in-home senior care services, a Daily Plan can help. A person with Alzheimer’s or other progressive dementia will eventually need assistance to organize and make it through day. Structured and pleasant activities can often help to reduce agitation and improve mood. Keeping a person with dementia engaged works best when you continually explore, experiment and adjust to the senior’s needs.

That’s what I experienced with Mom. When I visited, I made a point of having her participate in our home making (dinner preparation, making the beds) activities. It never seized to amaze me that after a few days Mom was actively engaged with our household chores, helping her to experience some normality in her life and once again making her feel useful.

Before creating the daily plan, consider:

  • The person’s likes, dislikes, strengths, abilities and interests
  • How the person used to structure his or her day
  • What times of day the person functions best
  • Ample time for meals, bathing and dressing
  • Regular times for waking up and going to bed (especially helpful if the person with dementia experiences (sleep issues or sundowning)
  • Make sure to allow for flexibility within your daily routine for spontaneous activities.

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, the abilities of a person with dementia will change. With creativity, flexibility and problem solving, you’ll be able to adapt your daily routine to support these changes.

Checklist of Daily Activities to Consider:

  1. Household chores
  2. Mealtimes
  3. Personal care
  4. Creative activities (music, art, crafts)
  5. Intellectual (reading, puzzles)
  6. Physical
  7. Social
  8. Spiritual

Writing a plan:

  • When thinking about how to organize the day, consider:
  • What activities work best? Which don’t? Why? (Keep in mind that the success of an activity can vary from day-to-day.)
  • Are there times when there is too much going on or too little to do?
  • Are spontaneous activities enjoyable and easily completed?

Don’t be concerned about filling every minute with an activity. The person with Alzheimer’s needs a balance of activity and rest, and may need more frequent breaks and varied tasks.

Sample Daily plan example (for early- to middle-stages of the disease)

Morning

  • Wash, brush teeth, get dressed??- Prepare and eat breakfast??- Have coffee, make conversation??- Discuss the newspaper, try a craft project, reminisce about old photos??- Take a break, have some quiet time??- Do some chores together??- Take a walk, play an active game

Afternoon

  • Prepare and eat lunch, read mail, wash dishes. – Listen to music, do crossword puzzles, watch TV. – Do some gardening, take a walk, visit a friend??- Take a short break or nap

Evening

  • Prepare and eat dinner, clean up the kitchen. – Reminisce over coffee and dessert. – Play cards, watch a movie, give a massage. – Take a bath, get ready for bed, read a book.

In general, if the person seems bored, distracted or irritable, it may be time to introduce another activity or to take time out for rest. The type of activity and how well it’s completed are not as important as the joy and sense of accomplishment the person gets from doing it.

 

Need some help to determine if your family member or friend can stay alone. This article can help you identify the 10 early warning signs that they may need home care 10-early-warning-signs-your-parents-may-need-help/

How are you engaging with your parents?

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