Being a caregiver can be exhausting both physically and emotionally. Senior care for a person who is mentally challenged can be even more demanding of your time and energy. Mental handicaps range from mild to severe. Therefore, it is important for you to understand the extent of a person’s illness to provide the best quality care.
Gain as much knowledge as you can regarding your loved one’s mental handicap. Gather information from health care professionals who specialize in the area pertinent to the condition of your loved one. You can also obtain information from medical journals.
Senior care for a mentally challenged loved one is going to require the help of others. Trying to handle the care of a person all by yourself is not only detrimental to their care but to your health as well. Involve other family members, friends, physicians, and other health care workers and heed their advice when making decisions.
If you are going to be housing your loved one in order to provide the care they need, it is important to prepare the home to create a safe living environment. Allow them to do as much of the daily tasks, such as bathing, getting dressed, and feeding themselves, as they can on their own. The mentally challenged are slower at learning so repetition is necessary.
Watch for patterns of behavior that reflect frustration and irritability. Being able to recognize a particular activity or time of day when a person is less cooperative will help you to better plan daily tasks and get on a routine.
Keeping a person who is mentally challenged occupied can work wonders for both of you. It is important to find activities that will stimulate their brain. This will help to keep their minds as sharp and active as possible. Scheduling time for simple, fun activities will make for a welcomed break from your otherwise daily routine. It also gives them something to look forward to.
Many times activities involving animals can provide a therapeutic approach to senior care. Walking a dog or feeding the ducks or birds at the park can promote a sense of responsibility as well as encourage exercise. Studies have proven that dogs are very therapeutic to seniors. Incorporating a trip to the local zoo can be fun as well as educational.
Games or puzzles involving bright colors can stimulate a better response than some other light, dull colors. A mentally challenged person seems to focus and concentrate better with brighter colors.
Senior care for the mentally challenged can be rewarding but often requires constant attention. It is important for the caregiver to allow time to care for themselves to keep from burning out.