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Creating and Following a Daily Routine

For seniors, life can be filled with uncertainty. As we grow into our twilight years, the changes that aging brings about can make us feel less in control, with less command over our lives and even our own bodies. By establishing a daily routine, personalized and specific to a senior’s particular wants, needs, and challenges, concentrating on what can be controlled can bring about a sense of empowerment.

A routine need not be strictly adhered to, but can represent more of a guideline or a framework for ordering the day. With the help of the older adult the routine is meant for, decide on a preferred structure for such a daily routine, and work together nailing down what needs to be done and how it should be gone about. A sample routine might look something like this:

  • Wake up at 7:30am
  • Engage in light stretching or aerobics
  • Take care of hygiene and grooming needs
  • Prepare and enjoy breakfast
  • Work on a puzzle, arts or crafts project
  • Prepare and enjoy lunch
  • Run errands and/or perform household chores
  • Make phone calls and catch up with family or friends
  • Read or watch television or a movie
  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood or in the park
  • Prepare and enjoy dinner
  • Take a bath or shower
  • Prepare for bed at 10pm

For older adults and their caregivers, routines can bring a sense of normalcy and comfort to the day. Without the need to worry about what’s going to happen on a given day, or a clear indicator of something being amiss when a routine is abandoned, care can be more predictable and better given.