How can art therapy help?
Art therapy for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia is not reliant on verbal communication and abilities. As the disease progresses it becomes more difficult for folx with dementia to express themselves and communicate verbally. With Alzheimer's disease the part of the brain that is associated with creative expression and emotions are some of the last parts to be impacted, allowing individuals to remain engaged in creative activities for longer with beneficial responses. Art therapy can provide opportunities for folks to express and explore their emotional and creative centers without relying on words. And for many of us, even on a good day, the words may be difficult to find.
With a dementia diagnosis comes a tremendous loss and transition in life. You are losing who you are and who you thought you were going to be. Art therapy does not focus on fixing anything but preserving your abilities while improving quality of life and providing a safe space and container to express and process the loss and grief without having to keep things neat and pretty. As the disease progresses and abilities change, art therapy can adapt and change with them, meeting individuals where they are, in that moment, every session. In a time when one’s world becomes smaller and decisions more difficult, it can help you regain a sense of control, mastery and well-being.
Art therapy for Alzheimer's and other dementias
I don't need to explain to you how devastating a diagnosis of dementia can be. It is a disease that impacts the whole family. Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia pose many unique challenges, but the early stages are also when treatment can be most effective. Engaging in art can help manage many symptoms while helping us to navigate areas of loss, including the loss of self-esteem, socialization, and previous life roles. Here is how art therapy can help individuals living with dementia.
How can therapy help my Loved One with dementia?
Here are some benefits:
- Promotes self expression and self awareness
- Improves physical/motor skills
- Helps seniors and families process times of transition
- Improves self-esteem
- Provides opportunities for life review
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Offers enjoyment, accomplishment and mastery of a skill
- Enhances social skills and communication
- Increases cognitive skills and intellectual stimulation