5 Benefits of Keeping Routines in Senior Living
While keeping a routine is a healthy idea for anyone, it is especially true for seniors.
Our bodies and minds take comfort in knowing what to expect every day. When we feel safe and structured within a daily or weekly routine, we can relax fully. Without a routine, we face constant decisions and uncertainty, which can lead to fatigue that builds up over time.
For seniors, this fatigue can be especially taxing. And with the lack of structure provided by a job, adults who have retired often feel aimless or bored without a routine to fall back on.
Read on for five benefits of keeping a routine in senior living.
1. Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Between a loss of built-in routine due to retirement and a loss of control from moving into a senior living home, many seniors find themselves craving more structure. Without it, you may feel disoriented and stressed.
Introducing routine is one way to introduce more structure, giving you a sense of control over your day to day. For example, choosing to exercise each morning and attend a painting class every Friday creates a predictable schedule that can calm the nerves.
Since you know what’s coming next in your routine, you can worry less about each daily transition and instead lean into enjoying your routine.
2. Increases Feelings of Safety & Security
Constant uncertainty and surprises can lead to a feeling of uneasiness. Our bodies and nervous systems are most comfortable and feel safest when we know what to expect from the day. Even adults with memory loss benefit from going through a consistent routine, whether they remember the previous day’s events or not. At a bodily level, routine helps us feel safe and secure.
3. Improves Sleep
Another benefit of sticking to a routine is improved sleep. A steady, consistent routine makes you more mentally alert and emotionally well, resulting in even energy levels throughout the day.
By teaching your body what to expect each day, it also learns to go to sleep at the same time each night for a more predictable sleep schedule. The cycle continues, as good sleep feeds back into overall wellbeing.
4. Helps Seniors Maintain Physical & Mental Abilities
Having a routine makes it easy to incorporate habits that maintain physical and mental abilities.
For example, you may decide to exercise first thing each morning. This can look different depending on your strength and ability. Whether you choose to go for a walk or use small weights to improve strength, keeping a consistent exercise routine will help you age with good health. Another example is eating breakfast consistently. For example, you may eat a bowl of oatmeal and a smoothie with yogurt each morning, helping you get whole grains, protein, and health-promoting vitamins every day.
A routine will naturally benefit you mentally due to the consistency and structure. You may also choose to purposefully tend to your mental sharpness with frequent puzzles or brain exercises like crosswords or sudoku.
5. Maintains As Much Independence As Possible
When you combine all of the above benefits, it is not difficult to see why maintaining a routine helps older adults stay independent for longer. The mental sharpness, physical health, and emotional wellbeing combined add up to a better quality of life.
Living in a senior living community can make it easier for retired adults to keep a consistent routine. The community offers plenty of classes, events, and amenities that make it easy to fill up a week with beneficial parts of a complete routine.
Click here to learn more about life at Copeland Oaks senior living community.