Are routines the best thing for patients?

1 answer | Last updated: Jun 25, 2010
Jemmie asked...

Are routines the best thing for patients? Same caregivers? That sort of thing?

Expert Answers

This is a wonderful question, because it shows great sensitivity to the person needing help. In general I think routines are best for many people, as they're far less stressful than having to adjust to newness and change. Routines can be comforting and reassuring. On the other hand, you want to make sure you're not sticking with unhealthy routines, just for the sake of not making change. If a routine or a caregiver is working out well, with relative happiness on all fronts, then as the saying goes, "If it's not broken, don't fix it." But if the routine or caregiver is problematic on any level, in a lingering versus momentary way, it's time to look for a more positive option. People with Alzheimer's or dementia often do better with the familiar, and are fearful or agitated by change. Still, if your gut tells you the situation could be improved, trust this feeling.