Humans are creatures of habit and we all tend to follow regular routines that help get us through the demands and challenges of everyday life. The types of tasks and activities that we choose to engage in on a daily basis have a significant impact on health and wellbeing. Of course, there are many tasks that are not really optional, like work, self-care, and home maintenance. It is what is done with time outside of mandatory obligations that can make a difference.
Having a steady routine can play a considerable role in how seniors feel on a day-to-day basis. One important aspect of a daily routine for older adults is keeping a consistent schedule so the same things happen around the same time each day. Routines provide a degree of structure and organization to make it easier for seniors to remember and keep track of the important things that they need to do every day such as taking medication, exercising, eating well, and getting quality sleep.
It may be counter-intuitive to think that maintaining a regular routine can complement, and even allow for an independent lifestyle. However, outlining a routine for seniors to get used to doing some of the same things over and over at the same time can help to keep their days running smoothly without allowing anything to get missed or fall by the wayside. This means less outside help is needed to make it happen.
Establishing a healthy routine isn’t about changing or controlling seniors’ lives, it is about taking the things that they already do and structuring them a little more. Having these routines and schedules for the day can help both seniors and those who care for them feel more confident that everything is getting done as it should be. Being in control of what happens at what time each day can put a little power back in seniors’ hands as they navigate the ever-changing and often confusing world of ageing.
There are many ways that a routine can help improve the general wellbeing and quality of life for seniors.
Security: With all the changes that come along with ageing, seniors often find themselves feeling destabilized and uncertain. Adding a healthy routine into the mix helps seniors prepare for the day to optimize outcomes and help increase feelings of security and safety.
Health: Establishing consistency for activities like waking up, going to bed, eating meals, taking medication, working, and performing daily tasks helps put the body in a healthy rhythm. Knowing what should happen at what time can also remind seniors not to forget important health-promoting activities such as taking medications as directed, brushing teeth, exercising, and more.
Calm: Aging can be stressful as seniors continually adapt to their changing bodies, minds, and lives. Building consistency in everyday life can help seniors feel a greater sense of calm by reducing the stress and anxiety they might feel on a daily basis about what is in store for that day. A predictable schedule removes some of the doubts and unknowns to help seniors feel more at ease in their lives.
When it comes to daily routines, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. So there is always a bit of a trial and error period as seniors and their caregivers adjust to determine what schedule and routine works best. A consistent routine helps seniors know what is to be expected and what things they must remember to do to promote better health of both body and mind.