Brain impairments – simple ways to help

Since many of us at some point in our lives may have to care for loved ones who are suffering from brain impairments I want to share a few simple therapies that I have personally witnessed being beneficial. Before we begin its important to remember that whilst the individual may appear to be different and unable to express themselves in the same way, it doesn’t mean that their memories no longer exist. The pathways may be broken but that rarely means that there is no hope of some repairs.
* play background music for as many hours of the day as you can stand. It wants to be loud enough for them to hear but quiet enough that it doesn’t interfere with what they want to do. Classical or any type of music that involves multiple instruments causes the most brain stimulation.
* art in any form. This can be used in three ways, first hand and eye co ordination stimulates brain activity, as does the feel of different textures and materials. Second it allows the individual to express themselves in a way they may be unable to verbalise. Thirdly you can use it as a way of triggering memories. For example make a collage together using pictures of people or places you know and casually reminisce about them.
* toys can be used in the same way. For example cars that are in some way similar to one they have owned. You can chat about places you went together in the car.
*encourage them to talk about anything. Whilst they are talking they are building up a store of words and ideas that will hopefully begin to stimulate existing knowledge.
* make sure they get at least eight hours sleep, including naps. The brain does its most processing and healing when the individual is inactive.
* this one I can’t 100% vouch for but diets including oily fish, full fat milk and fresh vegetables are believed to be beneficial, where as wheat products and high starch should be avoided.
The most important thing is to never give up. They still have the same heart and they still love you, even if their ability to express it is impaired. Each and every day is a blessing and they are happy to be sharing it with you.

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2 thoughts on “Brain impairments – simple ways to help

  1. How I wish I had read this as we nursed mum. But your last line is very true we nursed her for almost a year and though it was a rough time for all especially her, she never stopped smiling and we had some great laughs together. I know to anyone who has not been in this position it seems a strange thing to talk about, laughing with a paralyzed bed ridden elderly mum but it was our way of getting through it.

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