As a caregiver, it is difficult to summon up the energy to do what is in the best interests of the senior that you are looking after at times. It can be extremely exhausting because you have undergone enough mental stimulation to last a lifetime in just a few weeks. However, if you can keep elderly people with mental illnesses occupied, then you are half way to ward winning the battle.
Mental stimulation of the mentally ill seniors in you care can work wonders fro your mental health as well as theirs. Playing with them, which is essentially what it is, will provide you with a welcome break from your usual caring routine. Setting aside a specific time frame every few days will also ensure that you are doing something fun with them. For the senior, it often proves to be the highlight of their week because they finally recognise something and respond to it. It breaks the monotony for them and can actively be used to calm them. They also see a light every now and then in the dark tunnel of the mind, and they can often remember it and look forward to it.
It is important to mentally stimulate elderly people in your care to keep their minds as sharp and active as possible. Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and dementia, amongst other ailments, must exercise their minds as often as possible and finding the right ways to achieve this could take forever, unless you have a little bit of help and advice. Medical research has found that some forms of stimulation are better than others because of the way in which the mind responds to certain stimuli.
Bright colours have been found to work best by the various studies that have been carried out. Playing with rag dolls, and brightly coloured balls have worked wonders in keeping their mind active. In fact, if you ask them to do something whilst they are concentrating on the colours will more often than not result in them doing it.
This exercise is, of course, purely for fun because it has no direct meaning attached to it. However, there are certain activities that do have meaning and can also be used to exercise them physically as well as mentally. Examples of games that are brightly coloured and serve a purpose are puzzles. You can find large piece jigsaw puzzles of clown and balloons. Not only do the colours draw their eye, but you can also encourage the individual senior to try and place the piece, with a little help of course!
Outdoor activities that involve animals are also perfect activities for mentally disabled seniors. For example, walking a dog will afford them responsibility and give some meaning to what they are doing, as well as enhancing their perception of themselves effectively. The responsibility of looking after another living creature can brighten up even their darkest days. Dogs are perfect for such activities because they are loving and affectionate and provide a warm and loving response to any fuss and attention they receive. Obviously, any such activities must be carried out under close supervision to ensure that the safety of all is maintained.
It is important that you, as a carer, do all you can to make sure that seniors in you care remain in the best of health as far as is under your control. Activities like the one above can be fun for bother the caregiver and receiver. They have integral benefits and tend to bring the best out in seniors with mental diseases and illnesses.