Designing A Senior Care Schedule
One of the first things you should be thinking about when starting your journey as a new caregiver is designing a senior care schedule. Since you’ll know be taking responsibility for your loved one, it’s important to make sure that you’re providing the stability and routine that your senior may need to make caregiving run smoothly.
Now that you’re a caregiver, you’ll be asked to perform a variety of extra duties to help out your loved one. Although these tasks are individually small, they tend to accumulate very quickly and can completely derail your entire schedule. Furthermore, not only do your duties increase, but they also change in nature. It can take some trial and error to find a routine that works for you and your loved one, but some guidance and shortcuts can help you simplify this process. Below we’ve provided a guide that will hopefully help you come up with your own senior care schedule to help your loved one age with as little stress as possible.
Designing a Senior Care Schedule
It’s it important to start things off on the right foot with your senior, so make sure you schedule allows plenty of time to get ready to tackle the day. Your loved one may need help getting out of bed, getting dressed, and even bathing, so make sure you prepare enough time to help your senior get ready for the day. It might even be a good idea to set out an outfit the night before for your loved one.
Once your loved one is ready to tackle the day, it’s time to fuel up with a healthy breakfast. Depending on the diet of you and your loved one, this can be anything from fruit and yogurt, to something a little heartier like steak and eggs. Either way make sure your senior’s first meal of the day is nutritious and filling. It’s also important to make sure that medications are taken when necessary.
After getting ready for the day and eating a healthy breakfast, it’s a good idea for your loved one to get some exercise if they are able. Even something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood can go a long way in helping your senior remain active and give them purpose. If mobility is an issue, try to get them to walk around the house or do some stretches inside the house. Exercise is a great way to stimulate your senior and maintain a consistent routine in your senior care schedule.
Lunch should be a time when you and your senior can relax and catch up. It can also be a great time to discuss any issues that may be occurring in a casual setting. Your senior may feel like they are capable of doing more than you are allowing them, or, you may feel like they are not respecting your own privacy. Either way, use lunch as a neutral site that both you and your loved one can use to express any issues that arise.
Finally, make sure that the lunch you provide to your loved one is health and nutritious, but don’t be afraid to change things up and order a pizza every once in a while. Your senior should still be allowed a cheat day, if you will.
After lunch, your senior care schedule should allow some time for your loved one to engage in a particular activity or hobby that they are fond of. Your senior might be a jigsaw puzzle addict, so make sure they have a designated area that they can get their puzzle on. If they prefer something a little more active, they might enjoy pickleball, a senior-friendly version of tennis. Either way, making sure your loved one has some recreation integrated into his or her daily routine is very beneficial to both their mental and physical health. Find an activity you can both enjoy and bond over.
Dinner is a perfect time to invite friends and family over. One of the biggest factors in senior depression is the loneliness that your loved one might feel as they age. Having a weekly dinner with friends and family is a great way for your loved one to stay connected and spend quality time with the ones they love. You can even have your loved one help make dinner for the family so they can maintain a sense of independence and purpose while providing for friends and family.
Luckily, putting together a senior care schedule like this should make bedtime pretty easy. In fact, seniors that follow a daily schedule have an easier time sleeping. Make sure all medications are taken and that your loved one is practicing good hygiene before bed.
Hopefully, this senior care schedule provides a rough outline of what to expect when you become a new caregiver. Being a new caregiver can be difficult. If you are having a hard time transitioning into your new caregiver role, you’re not alone! Caregiver support groups can help you to better understand your role and its importance while also providing an outlet for questions and stress.