Why You Need a Daily Routine as You Get Older

Almost all of us follow some daily routine. Whether we’re aware of it or not, routines give our lives structure and stability, positively impacting our mental health. However, as we enter our retirement years, our long-held routines suddenly change as we no longer have to go to work every day. This change can be exciting at first, there is this newfound freedom to do whatever you want! Alas, as the dust settles – the freedom can quickly turn into monotony.

If you’re worried about you’re retired parents feeling aimless or gradually lacking purpose, we encourage you to help them create and maintain a daily routine. Let’s take a closer look at the why:

Daily Routines Reduce Stress And Anxiety For Seniors

When you wake up in the morning and don’t have a plan for days on end, it can make anyone feel restless, aimless, and worried. Seniors report experiencing feelings of anxiousness and depression at alarmingly high rates, and not having a daily routine can significantly magnify these feelings.

Sit down with your parents and help them create a daily routine, including important things like medication reminders, meal times, and bedtime rituals, which ideally should be around the same time every day. They’ll soon see that having structure reduces any feelings of stress and anxiety, providing a sense of daily purpose.

Schedules Increase Feelings Of Safety And Security In Older Adults

Aging causes unique changes in our minds and bodies. Many older adults will experience some changes to their cognitive and physical abilities. These changes can result in seniors feeling unsafe because it’s as if they can no longer trust themselves.

A daily routine gives your senior parent something to trust, a secure timeline t – Breakfast at 8am, morning chair yoga at 8:30am, getting dressed for the day by 9am, etc. The routine will stay the same regardless of other circumstances that may be out of their control, and you can modify their daily routine if their health or abilities change over the years.

Following A Routine Improves Sleep Patterns In Seniors

It helps to  encourage your senior parents to do certain things at the same time every day, such as waking up at 7am and going to sleep at 8pm. Older adults often report sleeping less as they age, however, sleep is vital for a healthy immune system, mental clarity, and overall health and well-being. Although it can be tempting to stay up later when you’re retired and don’t have to get up for work in the morning, adhering to the same bedtime every night can help you form a habit that encourages you to fall asleep easier and stay asleep throughout the night. We all feel better when we’re well rested, which is especially true for seniors, so the sooner you help your older parent create their daily routine, the sooner they’ll be able to improve their sleeping habits.

If you have any questions about establishing a daily routine for your senior parents or would like to know more about how a senior living community can enhance their quality of life, please visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org.

This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/umc-corp/blog/daily-routines-as-you-age/

 

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