Start Your Day Out Right: Create a Caregiving Routine You Can Live With

August 26, 2009 at 1:31 am Leave a comment

Sometimes while caregiving my mother (who had Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) I felt that my time was not my own.

When a person feels they have no control over their day, it’s unsettling. Both my mom and I felt scattered, and sometimes lost because we didn’t have anything to look forward to other than medical-related activities. It’s not that we meant to plan our lives around doctor visits, home health care visits, medications, or catastrophes such as a fall, but it sure seemed that way. I finally realized that I would most likely get the day I planned to have.

So I started making a plan. 

Ask yourself (and your care buddy) a few questions:

  • What’s a good time for you to get up and get busy?
  • How much private time do you need to exercise, journal, shower–whatever helps you feel you’re off to a good start?
  • What time would your care buddy (mom, dad, grandmother, spouse, etc.) like to get up?
  • What’s the ideal time to start their medications?
  • Can you compromise and start your day at a time that’s agreeable for both of you?
  • Do they move better with some stretches?
  • Does your loved one have a long-standing morning routine they’d like to continue? Prayer or meditation? a favorite morning program? A call to a dear friend? Be sure to incorporate this.
  • What’s a breakfast that’s good for both of you?
  • How can you make this first meal pleasant and upbeat for both of you?
  • Can you include music, radio, crossword puzzles, sodoku, a quick stroll outside or something else that’s stimulating into your morning routine that also helps set the mood of the day? Be sure to stimulate the body and the brain.
  • Is it best to schedule doctor appointments or home health care in the morning hours–or should they be scheduled later in the day to ensure continuity?

There’s nothing better than making a plan, looking forward to something and then getting it. Start with a morning routine, but don’t go any further–not yet, anyway (sometimes I go overboard and plan too much and then get overwhelmed or let myself–and others–down).

 Getting off to a good start that doesn’t focus on aches and pains can change your entire day. Yes, it’ll take up a good portion of your morning hours, but you and your loved one can feel so settled and so cared for by getting off to a good start that you’ll make up for this time investment later in the day.

Entry filed under: brain fitness, caring for parents, elder care, family caregiving, sundown syndrome. Tags: , , , .

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This Blog

Hi, I'm Carol O'Dell. This blog will include stories and lessons I've learned while caring for my mom, and now as I speak to caregivers around the country. I hope to offer suggestions, ideas and insights that will help others.

While this blog is supported by Dakim Brain Fitness, I’m not blogging to promote the Dakim company or products. Instead, I’m writing about how caring and being cared for affects your life and your family. My hope is that this blog gives you a place to learn, reflect, gain new perspective to make it another day.

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