Caregiver Tips #89: Developing a Routine to Keep Active

Person sitting at a table eating breakfast

A daily routine can benefit both care partners and people with an FTD diagnosis. Trying to fill every day with activities can be overwhelming; having a structured routine in place can alleviate those feelings while allowing persons with FTD to know what is coming next and what is expected of them. Even with a schedule, it is important to keep in mind that abilities can change in FTD, and flexibility will be needed to adapt to new challenges.

There are several ways you can introduce elements of a daily routine while both addressing FTD’s unique symptoms and keeping the person diagnosed active, stimulated, and engaged. For example, you can:

  • Serve meals at the same time every day while using the same verbal and/or non-verbal cues to let the person diagnosed know that it is time to eat.
  • Pick a time for the person with FTD to assist with household tasks, such as making the bed, sweeping, or dusting. You can join them in the activity for a little while to give them cues on what to do. These activities can be done as often as you see fit.
  • Have the person with FTD exercise at the same time each day. Be sure to participate alongside them to provide encouragement and support. Walking is a great way to move your body while getting out of the house for a bit. Many malls open early in the morning for people to walk around without having to worry about the weather.
  • Pick a time for a rotating assortment of hobbies and other leisure activities. Try to involve friends and family, inviting them to take part in activities; this can give you someone to talk to or to assist your loved one while you take a well-deserved break.

You will likely have to adapt activities to make them more approachable to someone with FTD. For example, if someone was a visual artist before their diagnosis and now has difficulty using paints and brushes, you could provide them with a sketchpad and art pencils instead.

Want to share a tip on how you were able to develop a routine or how a routine helped you as a care partner? Send your experience to


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