Five Tips for Helping a Senior Create a Schedule
Aging is a fact of life. While aging occurs at all stages of adulthood, the more serious declines start to show up when a person hits retirement. Seniors must adjust their lifestyle and the schedule they follow as they age. Retirement especially can mean a need for a revised schedule. No longer having to work means a lot of hours to be filled in each day. Usually, seniors could do with some help in the process of making a schedule. This is especially true if a senior is suffering from a mental decline. Here are five tips for how you can help your senior loved one create a schedule.
Encourage a Senior to Remain Active
A major problem for many seniors (especially those used to busy work life) is drifting into a passive, inactive lifestyle. Sitting around and not doing much, isn't healthy for anyone, no matter their age. The result may be a listless, aimless mode of life that can quickly damage mental health. This decline can culminate in depression or other mental health problems.
The solution is for a senior to take concrete steps to remain engaged with life. The schedule for each day should include some activities to focus on and get enthused about. What those activities are will, of course, depend on the individual. Look to schedule times to participate in hobbies, meet with friends or family, and attend events.
Emphasize Consistency When You Create a Schedule
A person's golden years are not usually the time for a spontaneous, impulsive lifestyle. Seniors often do best following the same consistent schedule each day. This is particularly important for seniors dealing with declines in memory or other aspects of cognition. When short-term memory becomes shaky, following the same schedule each day is a major help. A consistent schedule is especially valuable for seniors who take important medications.
Don't Schedule Too Much
Even for people in the prime of their life, accomplishing everything on their schedule can be difficult. For older folks with less energy, it can be even easier to make the mistake of scheduling too much. Remember, many seniors will take much longer to complete tasks than they once did. Allowing for a little flexibility in a schedule is key to helping seniors remain on top of things. Retirement is not the time to feel harried and stressed by a packed schedule.
Adjust for the Seasons
It's good for a person to get outside each day, no matter their age. Remaining inside all the time isn't healthy, either physically or mentally. Getting some sun is also crucial for getting vitamin D, and thereby strengthening the immune system (which is particularly important for seniors). Going outside is a great way to exercise as well.
However, changing weather conditions over the year mean that a senior's schedule must also be adjusted as the seasons change. In the winter, it may make sense to spend less time outside (especially since seniors can be vulnerable to the cold). During the heat of the summer, going outdoors only in the morning or the cool of the evening is sensible.
Decide When Home Health Aides Should Come
As seniors get older, they require more and more outside help.. A crucial aspect of creating a schedule for a senior is deciding when during the day a senior needs the most assistance from a health aide.
Different seniors may require help with different aspects of personal care. An individualized plan for each senior is therefore needed. Make sure to thoroughly discuss with your senior loved one which times they most need help, and what times of day they are still alright on their own. Strive for an honest, candid conversation, since seniors can be resistant to getting the help they need.
Learn More About Helping a Senior Create a Schedule
Seniors should also have a clear picture of when a home health aide is coming in and leaving each day. Deciding on such details of a daily schedule is important to ensuring a senior does not get confused and disoriented as aides come and go.
Every senior deserves to be cared for properly. Here at Elite Home Health Care, we are devoted to providing seniors care in the comfort of their own homes. We take the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic seriously and have instituted strenuous protocols to keep the seniors in our care safe. Our compassionate, experienced caregivers are dedicated to the health and happiness of the seniors they serve. Contact us for more information today.
Written by: Leah Ganz
Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain managemnet and internal medicine. She oversees allpatient services across Elite's departments.