Incorporating a routine for a person with dementia can be both calming and reassuring for an individual. This also allows for caregivers and family members to implement structure. It is important to involve the person in planning for daily routines, as there may be some resistance if this is to dissimilar to what they are used to, so consideration for pre-existing personal routines, such as mealtimes, should also be given to minimize distress. Balancing between activities that are both physical and therapeutic is also recommended. Daily routines can help decrease agitation and stress as they allow everyone involved to know what to expect, leading to increased feelings of safety and security.


Previously existing routines and daily-life activities should also be considered and implemented to avoid disruption and distress. These can be hobbies and habits a person with dementia had pre-diagnosis. There should also be thought given into how daily living activities, such as mealtimes and personal hygiene or care and medication, fit into the schedule. Planning out routines and activity based on a person’s ability throughout the day can also have a positive impact, such as planning for more physically demanding personal care like showering or self-care at a point in the day where the individual may have more energy.


Independence is an important consideration to developing a routine, skill level and abilities should always be considered when planning around for a daily routine. Supporting independence for as long as possible is important in person-centred care and has a positive impact on well-being (Chan et al., 2015) and can be incorporated in a routine. Promoting independence allows a person with dementia to maintain control and allows for active participation in their own care and can help maintain existing skill levels for longer. There should also be opportunities for rest activities throughout the day to allow a person to re-energise.

Social Activities

Incorporating social activities within a routine can benefit a person with dementia. It has been proven that those with dementia had an increase in psychological well-being (Lee et al., 2017) and increasing social interaction has been linked to an increase in positive mood regarding engagement in activities, social interaction and activities outdoors (Beerens et al., 2018). Activities, both at home and in groups, also allows for the promotion of fine motor skills, language, movement and more (Shoemaker, 2022). There are a variety of social clubs and activities run in the Swansea area for people with dementia, you can find some of these here: Dementia Friendly Clubs In Swansea (


A routine for a person with dementia can also aid in the prevention of sundowning. Sundowning is a term to describe the changes in behaviour that occur around dusk or evening time that can lead to an increase in anxiety and agitation. Dementia UK recommends incorporating activities the individual enjoys during the daytime, this could include going outdoors for a walk if this is appropriate or visiting the shops, and in the evening focusing on calming activities the person enjoys, such as calming and quiet television shows and music. Avoiding large meals and alcohol closer to evening time can also aid with preventing sundowning and reduce disruptions in sleep patterns.

To take away…

It is also important to remember, routines won’t always go to plan every day! Illness, a poor night of sleep and the general hussle and bustle of life can get in the way. It is important to remember that sometimes sitting and listening alone can make a difference to a person’s day. Every person is an individual, and what works for one may not work for another. If you have any questions about how to help with developing a daily routine, or advice on anything that could help to further develop existing routines the Dementia Hwb is here to help. Open 7 days a week from 11am until 3pm in person and by phone 01792304519 and online too.

References (in order of appearance):
Greater Independence in Activities of Daily Living is Associated with Higher Health-Related Quality of Life Scores in Nursing Home Residents with Dementia – PMC (
Does Social Interaction Matter Psychological Well-Being in Persons With Dementia? (
Full article: The relation between mood, activity, and interaction in long-term dementia care (
How to Provide Balance and More Fulfilling Activities for People Living with Dementia – Positive Approach to Care (

Article written by Kayleigh Phillips