You might be wondering what happens to an Elder each day. Are they active or sedentary? Are they dancing, playing mahjoong or shopping? Or are they sitting around watching tv? Actually it’s all of the above, and more. Here is small glimpse into a day in the life of a Senior Citizen.
There isn’t a typical elder because of individual circumstances, interest levels and capabilities which are different from person to person. We can’t define a “typical” elder, just as it is impossible to stereotype a typical toddler, young adult, teenager, middle aged person.
Last night, I met an elder couple: she is 92 yrs old and he is almost 95 years old. They were dancing!
Not dancing slowly, but really rocking out! On my radio show: Legendary Wisdoms Radio on AWOP, I interviewed Allan Robbins, 94 yrs old, who still drives, cooks his own meals, surfs the internet, emails and does crossword puzzles daily. He wakes in the morning, freshens up, walks to his mailbox to get the morning paper, has breakfast, does a puzzle, may drive to see one of his only friends an 85 year old person and return for lunch. He doesn’t nap until recently, and then is ready to go again mid afternoon before dinner. He or his son may cook that night and they have meal times together if his son is not traveling. Allan is atypical because not many elders are living so vibrantly. He is really a capable person and happy to live independently.
As a senior care home owner for almost 15 years, we have residents who require more assistance than Allan. I have had the pleasure of seeing and working with all types of personalities, behaviors and levels of movement from sleeping preferences to daily activities.
In addition, a longer life span may give rise to more people living with both physical and mental struggles because of deteriorating health. They may be suffering due to depression, sadness and feeling lonely. I know that one elder has a hot and cold personality: one day she is really warm and cordial to her relatives and on other days, she is angry, blaming and really saying unkind words. It really ups and downs with the relationships with her family members. Our staff is very patient and kind. They know this is age-specific behavior, meaning that at this phase of their lives, seniors may become rude, mad, impatient or really peeved.
While we can’t define a typical elder in a care facility, we try to structure typical day, by rotating around nutrition based meal times: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Besides meal times, our daily schedule includes bathing, sleeping, waking, doing arts, crafts, exercises, music, games, brain activities which are excellent for mental, emotional and physical stability We like to plan around these activities because the staff relies on a consistent program, and elders feel confident in knowing what will happen on a daily basis
At our home, we allow for variations and tolerate more flexibility in the schedule, if it is needed or requested, or if we have parties and special performances. On the other hand, other assisted living homes might likely be aligned with a higher confined schedule especially when there is a greater numbers of elders living in a group together.
Here is a schedule that we follow in our care home, though we do welcome individual choices and changes per request.
6:30 – 8:00 a.m.
Wake up time. Start of a new day. Toiletries. Some may like to shower in the morning.
7:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Morning Coffee, Juice and Breakfast – morning newspaper and chatting about daily or news events. During this time blood pressure readings, weigh ins are done, and vitamins and meds may be distributed, on a case by case basis.
Stretching, exercises, breathing, energy dances, games, arts and crafts or games, walks, water plants, etc. Some like to work on the ipad, watch tv
Prepare for lunch
Stretching, exercises, breathing, energy dances, games, arts and crafts or games, walks, water plants, etc. Some like to work on the ipad, watch tv. Hairstyling , manicures and pedicures.
Some residents like to fold clothes and do light chores. Others might work on art projects.
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Some like to shower. Toiletries and freshening up.
7:00- 8:00 p.m.
Quiet time and activities