Creating a Daily Care Plan for those with Dementia

Date:

January 30, 2023

Daily Care Plan

Learn How to Create a Daily Care Plan

Daily routines can be helpful for both you the caregiver and the person living with dementia. A planned day allows you to spend less time trying to figure out what to do, and more time on activities that provide meaning and enjoyment.

It starts with organizing your day. A person with Alzheimer’s or other progressive dementia will eventually need a caregiver’s assistance to organize the day. Structured and pleasant activities can often reduce agitation and improve mood. Planning activities for a person with dementia works best when you continually explore, experiment and adjust. Remember to make time for yourself, or include the person living with dementia in activities that you enjoy — for example, taking a daily walk.

Before making a daily care plan, consider:

  • The person’s likes, dislikes, strengths, abilities and interests
  • How the person used to structure his or her day
  • What times of day the person functions best 
  • Ample time for meals, bathing and dressing
  • Regular times for waking up and going to bed (especially helpful if the person with dementia experiences sleep issues or sundowning)
  • Make sure to allow for flexibility within your daily routine for spontaneous activities.

As dementia progresses, the abilities of your care recipient will change. With creativity, flexibility and problem solving, you’ll be able to adapt your daily routine to support these changes.

Checklist of daily activities to consider

  • Household chores
  • Mealtimes
  • Personal care
  • Creative activities (music, art, crafts)
  • Spontaneous (visiting friends)
  • Intellectual (reading, puzzles)
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Spiritual
  • Work-related (making notes)

Writing a Daily Care plan

When thinking about how to organize the day, consider:

  • Which activities work best? Which don’t? Why? (Keep in mind that the success of an activity can vary from day-to-day.)
  • Are there times when there is too much going on or too little to do?
  • Were spontaneous activities enjoyable or did they create anxiety and confusion?

Don’t be concerned about filling every minute with an activity. The person with Alzheimer’s needs a balance of activity and rest, and may need more frequent breaks and varied tasks.

Daily Care Plan Example
(for early-to middle-stages of the disease)

Morning

  • Wash, brush teeth, get dressed
  • Prepare and eat breakfast
  • Have a conversation over coffee
  • Discuss the newspaper, try a craft project, reminisce about old photos
  • Take a break, have some quiet time
  • Do some chores together
  • Take a walk, play an active game

Afternoon

  • Prepare and eat lunch, read mail, wash dishes
  • Listen to music, do crossword puzzles, watch TV
  • Do some gardening, take a walk, visit a friend
  • Take a short break or nap

Evening

  • Prepare and eat dinner, clean up the kitchen
  • Reminisce over coffee and dessert
  • Play cards, watch a movie, give a massage
  • Take a bath, get ready for bed, read a book

In general, if the person seems bored, distracted or irritable, it may be time to introduce another activity or to take time out for rest. The type of activity and how well it’s completed are not as important as the joy and sense of accomplishment the person gets from doing it. 

Source: Alzheimer’s Association  


We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
For more resources, subscribe to our free eNewsletter!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts

Remembering to Take Care of Our Caregivers

Remembering to Take Care of Our Caregivers

Imagine you show up to work day in and day out, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and yet you never receive a dime of compensation. While this seems unreasonable, it’s the reality for many Americans who perform the invaluable role of caregiving to a spouse, parent,...

read more
What are ADA Appliances?

What are ADA Appliances?

ADA appliances, or appliances that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design, are designed to be easier, safer, and more comfortable for people with disabilities or limited mobility.  ADA compliant appliances must be...

read more