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Best Activities For Mental Stimulation

on May 30, 2012

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzhei...

The role of a caregiver can be very stressful and coping with the emotional drain is a difficult challenge. At times, it is a challenge even to look after the best interests of the elderly in your care, especially if the person is mentally ill. A mentally ill senior will require additional care and efforts on the part of the caregiver. However, keeping a mentally ill senior occupied with some activity will take the load off your mind to a small extent.

It is essential that the mentally ill seniors keep their minds occupied with simple activities. Arranging for simple, fun activities suitable to their capabilities will provide a welcome break from the daily routine for both of you. A specific amount of time can be set aside for mentally stimulating activities during the week. For the senior this is something they begin to look forward to as it means a break in the routine. They are responding to the stimulus of the activity as a light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Elderly persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia or Parkinson’s disease must exercise their minds as much as possible. The caregiver has the task of finding the right ways to do this, but it is a difficult goal to achieve unless he has some help or advice in the matter. Therefore, the caregiver has to rely on medical advice or research that may help in achieving this goal.

Medical research shows that some forms of stimuli are better than others because of the way the mind responds to them. For instance, bright colors used in any activity get a better response and playing with brightly colored balls has worked wonders with mentally ill elders. They are able to concentrate better with bright colors around them.

However, these are just fun activities and do not serve a purpose beyond raising their spirits. Brightly colored games and puzzles can help them to sharpen their minds a little. For example, large piece jigsaw puzzles can be used to stimulate the thought processes in the elderly person’s mind. They can be asked to place the pieces to complete the puzzle, with some help from the caregiver.

Outdoor activities involving animals can be suited to the mentally disabled elders. Walking a dog can be very therapeutic, bringing a sense of responsibility that was absent earlier. The task of looking after another living creature can help to lift their spirits and brighten up their life to some extent. Dogs are very loving animals and ideally suited for this purpose, because they provide an affectionate and warm response to the fuss and attention they receive. Activities such as these should be undertaken under close supervision to ensure the safety of all concerned.

As a caregiver, you must ensure that the elderly in your care remains in the best of health as much as is possible. The activities mentioned earlier can be very stimulating and beneficial to mentally ill elders and since these are done together, it is beneficial to the caregiver, too. One you start these activities and meet with success be sure to introduce some more activities to keep the elderly occupied. It helps you do your job that much better!

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