Taking care of a loved one with dementia can be daunting for even the most skilled individual. Everything from arranging daily care giving tasks, participating in important decision-making, medication management, household management, and more—the reality can be overwhelming. With so much to do in very little time, creating a daily care plan can assist you, the caregiver, and allow you to spend more quality time with your loved one suffering from this horrible disease. The following will provide information to help you be better equipped to handle the day at hand.
Getting involved in structured, enjoyable, activities can lower negative behavioral symptoms for people with dementia and help to improve the mood of both care recipient and caregiver.
Daily routines are helpful for both — the caregiver — and the person living with Alzheimer's. A planned day enables you to spend less time figuring out what to do, and more time on activities that provide meaning and enjoyment.
The greatest strategy for creating an everyday checklist and care plan for dementia is to look for meaningful activities that everyone can equally enjoy. Remember to fine-tune the daily schedule as required and allow flexibility. For instance, if a planned activity causes the person with dementia to develop anxiety or confusion, don't hesitate to change it up the following day or week.
Creating a daily care plan for dementia? This checklist will provide some great ideas for you and your loved one:
Brain stimulating activities (online programs, crossword puzzles, reading, etc.)
Creative activities (including arts, crafts, playing or listening to music)
Household chores (house cleaning, dishes, laundry)
Healthy meal planning
Hobbies (knitting, gardening, sewing, etc.)
Personal care for Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s). Example: oral hygiene, bathing, dressing, skin treatments, etc.
Physical exercise (walking, stretching, yoga, etc.)
Socialization (planned visits with friends and family)
Seasonal chores (such as spring cleaning or putting on storm windows)
Unplanned activities (visiting with neighbors, skyping with family members, etc.)
What to Keep in Mind While Planning Daily Activities
There are several things to consider when creating a daily care plan for a person with dementia, inclusive of:
Permit some flex time for spontaneous activities
History of daily activities (how did the care recipient structure their day before being diagnosed with dementia?)
The highest functioning time of day (Is your loved more energetic in the morning or later in the day?)
Plan regular waking time and bedtime (to encourage an optimal sleep pattern)
Crucial points to Evaluate the Effectiveness of a Reinforced Daily Care Plan:
Did the care recipient appear irritable, bored, or restless during any particular time of the day? If so, reschedule with another type of activity, or if it appears appropriate, plan an extra break.
What was the outcome of spontaneous activities? Were they enjoyable or stressful, did they seem to promote confusion or anxiety?
Was there sufficient time between activities to take a breather?
Which activities went well? What was the reason?
Which times of routine appeared overwhelming?
Which time periods appear to lag, with not sufficient to do?
Use This Sample Daily Care Plan for People With Dementia
Here is how you can create a daily care plan that you can use to spend more meaningful time on productive activities with loved ones having dementia:
Get up and complete a morning hygiene routine (toileting, brushing, washing face).
Make breakfast (have the person with dementia help as much as he/she is able and wants to do so). Do breakfast clean-up together.
Contribute to an enjoyable art or craft project.
Take a break to cherish some quiet time (this is a good time for caregivers to do some reflecting or meditation).
Go for a walk or engage in another planned activity.
Have lunch and clean up the meal together.
Watch a favorite movie or listen to some favorite old music together.
Try some physical activity, for example, planting or weeding the garden.
Go through family photos and talk about memories that are tagged.
Visit a friend, family member, or neighbor.
Have dinner and do clean up together.
Offer a massage, start to recuperate for bedtime.
Help with nightly hygiene routines, for instance, a shower or bath, oral hygiene, and pajamas.
Play a crossword game or puzzle.
Read a chosen book passage and/or play some soothing music before turning in for the night.
Keep in mind that as the symptoms of dementia worsen with time, it’s crucial to be flexible in planning a daily care plan. Assess the outcome of the plan with your loved one frequently. The demands of the plan will change as dementia symptoms progress.
The Oxford HealthCare Team Can Alleviate the Burden
Oxford HealthCare provides skilled caregivers that have tremendous experience with the unique needs of an Alzheimer’s or Dimentia patient. Our areas of expertise include skilled home rehabilitation, prevention of re-hospitalization, chronic disease education and management, as well as strengthening, balance, and fall prevention. Give us a call today for any queries.