As people age, their mental capacity and cognitive functions often deteriorates. The rate at which it deteriorates can vary on their existing mental health conditions. Daily rituals, like walking, bathing, eating, watching TV, etc. which younger people often do easily become more difficult for older adults with mental retardation.1 These chores are more difficult for older adults with Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy. Needless to say, these people need extra care and support.

Older people with mental retardation are also comparatively more prone to mental illnesses than the general ageing population.1 So, they need more care and support from their family. If your parents are suffering from mental retardation or someone you know is – learning to create a nursing care plan would be immensely helpful. A well-curated nursing care plan for mental retardation ensures older adults are taken care of better. But before we get to it, let’s learn a little more about mental retardation. So, you can take better care of your older adults.

What is Mental Retardation (MR)?

Mental retardation is a form of intellectual disability. It is usually characterized by subaverage intelligence. And is typically categorized as 2-

1.    Mild Mental Retardation – IQ between 50 to 70

2.    Moderate Mental Retardation – IQ between 35 to 50

3.    Severe Mental Retardation – IQ between 20 to 35

4.    Profound Mental Retardation – IQ below 20

Low IQ often suggests that people tend to learn slower. They also tend to lack the ability to think logically. As people with mental retardation grow older, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to recall and process information. This makes doing trivial things harder for them.
 you may even like to read: Geriatric Mental Health: Top Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Answered

This reflects in their daily life in the form of poor hygiene maintenance and forgetting things. Like other older adults, elderly people with mental retardation are equally susceptible to chronic conditions like Diabetes, Hypertension, etc. 1 They are also more likely to develop mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, and phobias compared to general older adults. 1 So, they warrant special attention from caregivers.

Older adults with other development disabilities like Down syndrome and cerebral palsy are likely to experience similar or severe unpleasant conditions. How can you know that your seniors are suffering from mental retardation?

Signs of Mental Retardation in Older Adults

Common signs of mental retardation in older adults are -

-       Easily forgetting things like spectacles, bills, keys, etc.

-       Inability to focus on the task at hand

-       Less expressive

-       Difficulty in doing routine tasks like bathing, brushing teeth, etc.

-       Difficulty following social cues

-       Failing to read and comprehend

Helping Older Adults with Mental Retardation: Mental Retardation Care Plan

Older people with mental retardation are vulnerable due to their decreasing cognitive functions but are also at increased mental health risk. So, it’s important that caregivers take better care of them. A mental retardation care plan can help slow down the decline of cognitive function, provided older adults follow the plan religiously. A mental care plan for older adults, often includes -

1. Regular walks and physical exercises: Physical exercises can help preserve cognitive performance in elderly. 3   In case people are facing problems in moving, physiotherapy is recommended.

2. Social interactions: Older adults, either due to problems in movement or feeling left out, tend to keep to themselves and hardly interact with others. A mental care plan ensures that older adults have enough conversations or at least people to talk to.  

3. Timely medications: Delay in medicines, especially for older adults with chronic conditions like diabetes, can wreak health havoc. A care plan reminds people to take their medicines on time. Geriatric patients with intellectual disabilities tend to forget their medicines.

4. Timely recreation: Watching TV, playing outdoors (with precautions), playing board games, etc. should be part of the daily routine. A well-crafted care plan often includes games or outdoor activities.

5. Active involvement: A mental care plan for geriatric patients can help put interaction in their regime. Social interaction goes a long way in building relationships, but also keep people busy. This is a good way to give elderly to look forward to every day.

Benefits of Nursing Care Plan for Mental Retardation


A nursing care plan for older adults with mental retardation can have multiple benefits, including -

1. Reduced risk of mental illnesses – Elderlies with mental retardation are at increased risk of mental illnesses like depression, which can be caused due to lack of social interaction.

2. Better care for older adults – Caregivers can overlook certain aspects of mental health. A well-crafted nursing care plan for mental retardation from registered medical practitioners is in-line with the patient’s existing health conditions and associated risks. So, older adults are taken care of better, helping them live their life more comfortably.

3. Time off for family members – Family members are often occupied with their own work-related commitments. Dividing their time between the aging parents and other commitments is often exhausting. A comprehensive nursing plan routinizes certain parts of the day, giving time off for the family members while older adults relax or enjoy. 

4. Minimize risk of accidents – Older adults with mental retardation tend to forget easily, which makes them vulnerable to accidents like electrocution, etc. A nursing care plan appoints nurses who stay with the geriatric patient and attend to all their needs. Thus, minimizing chances of accidents.

How to create a Nursing Care Plan for Older Adults

Nursing care plans are best created by registered medical practitioners as they create nursing plans based on the individual needs of the older adults. This includes pre-existing conditions, associated risks, etc. If you’re looking to get a plan, it’s best to approach medical practitioners. Doctors specialized in geriatric care are recommended. 

Nursing Care Plan offered by SenOcare


SenOcare offers a comprehensive nursing care plan service. Plans are personalized based on the individual’s need and required care. Furthermore, the plans are brought to action by vetted nurses who do their best to offer excellent care.


What is a care plan in mental health nursing?

A care plan in mental health nursing outlines necessary daily activities for the patient that help them become better or reduce the risk of mental health issues.

What are the objectives of geriatric nursing care?

Geriatric nursing care reduces the risk of health issues among older issues that come with aging and enable them to live their life more conveniently.

What should be in a care plan for the elderly?

A care plan for the elderly can include outdoor activities, recreation, medication, reading, etc. Most activities depend on the individual’s health and risks associated with their condition.

How do you write an elderly care plan?

An elderly care plan is based on the individual’s health conditions and the risks associated with it. For instance, a care plan for an older adult with diabetes would be different from an older adult with