Dementia can be complicated for your loved one, making it essential to follow a routine. Memory problems can make it hard to remember where you are and what has already happened. Consistency can give them the stability to help during the early and middle stages of dementia.
What Is Dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term for cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s, which can cause a decline in cognitive abilities. Dementia can make it difficult for people to remember things like paying bills, remembering appointments, traveling out in the neighborhood, remembering where keys and wallets were kept, and practicing personal hygiene.
There are different stages of progression for dementia that require different levels of care. People diagnosed with forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s might have different prognoses depending on their age and how far along they are. Some people with Alzheimer’s will live with the disease for several years, allowing them and their caretakers to adjust to their lives that can better help them function daily.
The Benefits of Consistency
Consistency refers to everyday routines, familiar caretakers, and the same experiences. A person with dementia might find themselves scared in an unsafe situation. To protect themselves from perceived harm, they might become aggressive or agitated. They might be resistant to something that the caretaker knows is okay, but the person with dementia doesn’t remember that it’s okay.
Different caretakers might feel unsafe to a person with dementia because they don’t recognize that person. A change in routine could become confusing because they don’t remember what they are supposed to do, which becomes frustrating. Consistency in care, routine, and caretakers can eliminate confusion, agitation, and stress for the person with dementia. The benefits of consistency include the following:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Consistency and routine can put those with dementia and caretakers at ease. Both know what to expect during the day. A consistent pattern is easier on a person with dementia because they are familiar with what they need to do.
Helps With Future Planning
Dementia can affect a person’s ability to plan. They might forget about daily things such as preparing meals, going shopping, taking care of personal hygiene, and taking care of physical activity. Having a routine keeps things simple. There isn’t a new element that can add confusion or cause a person to become mixed up with what they need to do.
Keeps Needs Met
A consistent routine can help ensure that a person’s needs are met every day. Those with dementia might forget to take medication, brush their teeth, or eat. Having a consistent schedule that includes these needs can ensure that the person with dementia or the caretaker does not forget these things.
Provides a Sense of Security
The familiarity of consistency can help a person with dementia feel safe. Those with consistency are less prone to outbursts or resistance to something because the familiarity is comforting. Unfamiliar scenarios become terrifying. A person who is in a strange situation might not trust the caretaker. Another example of what might make a person with dementia feel unsafe would be inconsistent caretakers. A person with dementia could feel distrustful because they don’t know or recognize this person and might be more resistant to that person.
Offers a Sense of Control
Those with dementia might feel frustrated and embarrassed by their symptoms as they no longer have complete control of their mind. They don’t know what they might forget or what they might need help with. Having consistency allows them to feel more in control of their life. They know what to expect. They can feel more confident in what they are doing.
Familiarity with routine can help a person with dementia require less help in day-to-day activities. They require less assistance and don’t need to be reminded of what they need to do. A person in the early stages of dementia might feel frustrated that they need constant help. It might be challenging to adjust to life’s changing expectations, which involves relying on another person. Consistency makes it easier to write reminders and follow instructions and works as a mental trigger that helps the person stay on task. As a result, they need less guidance and one on one assistance.
Promotes Positive Grounding
Consistency can help the person remember what they need to do. It can help them feel calm because they have less to worry about. It can make them feel safe, thus enabling them to feel grounded. They don’t have to be afraid that they are doing the wrong thing. They know that everything is okay because it is familiar to them.
Having dementia means that it is often difficult for the patient to remember things. Unfamiliarity can leave a person feeling resistant, apprehensive, and even aggressive. An individual may not trust your instruction or feel ashamed because they don’t remember how to do a task. Keeping the same routine with the same people can help those with dementia because things remain familiar. Caretakers also benefit from consistency because they can know what to expect. They know how to redirect the person and walk them through the steps. There are no surprises. Consistency helps the person with dementia because tasks become routine, and everyday movements are a step in the right direction. If someone you care about has dementia, Symphony of Wimberley, Texas, will help your loved one follow a routine with the same caretakers for a more comfortable and functional experience. Call (512) 243-5852 today.