The Importance of Routine in Memory Care: Reducing Anxiety for Residents With Dementia



Perhaps there is no more precious gift to those with memory care related health issues than the power of routine. For a person living with dementia, a consistent and well-structured daily routine can be immensely helpful both in terms of anxiety reduction and improving overall quality of life. Despite their typical lack of insight into their own condition and potential confusion, there is still immense value to be found in stability for individuals affected by dementia.


Routine in itself can be a sprawling concept, but at the core of its value lies its ability to keep the person with dementia understanding of their day-to-day, week-to-week, and overall life situation. Knowing what to expect can ease worry and confusion around daily tasks and errands, allowing much appreciated peace of mind in an otherwise chaotic world.


By offering reassuring structure throughout the day— whether through structured activities, meals, snacks, medications, or social engagements— a sense of balance and assurance can be maintained that takes away the need to worry and instead focuses energy on the moment-to-moment tasks at hand. With routine in place, individuals affected by dementia may be less confused and agitated or anxious in any given moment. In knowing that they are taking part in a meaningful set of activities familiar to them, a secure level of acceptance can be achieved, allowing for relaxation in the moment.


At Deer Trail Assisted Living, our memory care team knows well the value of routine in alleviating stress. In understanding that such uneasy behaviors may stem from confusion and fear-based thought cycles, our team is dedicated to laying out plans that offer familiarity and a safe following of timed tasks. This not only reduces the need to think ahead or to worry about what lies ahead, but also establishes much needed control in terms of being able to effectively take part in daily activities.


Even in situations where confusion or fear may still be present, most individuals with dementia respond best to them being addressed subtly or not at all, as direct questioning and suggestion may cause further confusion or unnecessary stress. With a solid daily schedule in place, a dignified solution can be offered with familiar activities and sentiment that may act in place of, or at least in tandem with, human intervention.


No two people experience dementia in the same way, making the support offered to those affected by it just as unique. By offering the assurance of a routine, however, a foundation of understanding and support can be provided that makes all of the difference. Taking part in a meaningful plan can provide purpose and relief for those living under memory care, and the effects can not be overstated.


For more information about Rock Springs Memory Care at Deer Trail, please give us a call at 307-362-0100.