We are all comforted by our own little routines, whether we enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning before diving into work or reading a book before bed. However, for people with Alzheimer’s, the comforts of a regular routine are even more potent.
In a past blog, we discussed the importance of routine and familiarity for Alzheimer’s patients. Routines help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia feel as though they have a touchstone, and as memory loss slowly impairs the person’s ability to make plans or complete activities on his or her own, a routine becomes even more essential.
Daily care routines are extremely helpful, not only to Alzheimer’s clients but to your agency’s caregivers as well. Having a daily routine of structured activities that the client enjoys can help reduce anxiety, agitation, and other challenging behaviors that are often present with Alzheimer’s. The following tips can help you and your caregivers create better care plans for your Alzheimer’s and dementia clients.
Get to Know Your Client
Getting to know a client is key for quality care, but it’s doubly important for clients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Before creating a care plan, find out the following information:
- The person’s likes, dislikes, strengths, current abilities and interests
- How the person is used to structuring his or her day
- What daily routines are meaningful to the person
- Is there a certain type of music that he or she prefers to listen to or finds soothing?
- What times of day the person is most calm and/or at ease
- What time the person feels most comfortable for baths and getting ready for bed
Create a Flexible Plan
When it comes to creating a care plan for a senior with Alzheimer’s, flexibility is key. If the senior is able to provide input, all the better, as you and his or her family consider the particulars that contribute to the senior’s mood, energy level, etc. For example, 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?
- What physical activities does the person enjoy and what is too taxing?
- Are spontaneous activities enjoyable or do they usually lead to confusion and/or agitation?
Remember that balance is important and not every minute needs to be filled with an activity. Make room in the schedule for frequent breaks and rest time.
Use Your Tools
When helping a client with Alzheimer’s create and stick to a routine, it’s important to have the tools you need to get the job done right. Arrow Solutions’ agency management software can help you improve scheduling, ensuring caregivers are always on time, and empowering you with the case information you need, including clinical documentation and reminders for physician orders, RN visits, plans of care, and record reviews, where and when you need it.
Contact the Arrow Solutions team to learn more about our innovative home care software system and how we can help you improve the lives of your clients.