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Mind’s Eye Poetry: Opening New Worlds for Seniors with Dementia

When an aging parent is diagnosed with dementia, it’s natural to worry about the coming cognitive challenges, the personality changes, and isolation and depression. Caregivers can face difficulties of their own, often with little support. However, both seniors and their caregivers can benefit from hiring professional in-home caregivers.

When considering in-home care, Anchorage, Alaska, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

Over the past few years, a new approach to dementia care is making news. Founded in 2013, the Mind’s Eye Poetry workshop helps aging adults manage the symptoms of dementia and slow down cognitive decline through poetry facilitation. Here is what you need to know about this workshop.

A Caregiver and a Poet

Molly Middleton Meyer understands the challenges of cognitive decline, having cared for both her parents through their final years with Alzheimer’s. Her experience showed her that from the earliest through the final stages of the illness, seniors are still able to think, laugh, love, and create. She also learned that creative arts such as writing, painting, and music are often effective healing therapies.

A Healing Mission

Meyer founded Mind’s Eye Poetry in 2013 with a mission to “rewrite dementia” through poetry facilitation. She now travels to communities, care facilities, and homes, hosting workshops where seniors and caregivers share their memories and imaginations together. Using their thoughts and words, Meyer helps them co-create poems that are therapeutic and deeply personal works of art.

Here are some of the therapeutic benefits of group poetry:

  • Workshops unlock memories and encourage thought and expression

  • Sharing stories and ideas provides social interaction and strengthens bonds

  • Finished poems give seniors a sense of achievement

  • Caregivers can see their loved ones in a new light

  • Enhancements in mood, cognition, and other areas come without harmful side effects

In 2010, The American Journal of Public Health published research demonstrating that art-based interventions are effective in reducing adverse physiological and psychological outcomes. Meanwhile, many prescription drugs are inflicting long-term side effects on seniors. Many families are now looking beyond traditional medicine to help their loved ones manage dementia symptoms, and art therapy results look promising.

Art workshops provide seniors with the opportunity to meet other people and socialize. For families living in Anchorage, Alaska, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

A Way Forward in Aging Well

Meyer’s unique skills as a caregiver and poet make her workshops a success in Dallas and other cities. Not everyone is a poet, but many people have talents that can brighten the lives of the seniors they love. Music, gardening, or other creative activities can stimulate a senior’s brain, thereby slowing cognitive decline. Mind’s Eye Poetry demonstrates that the most likely side effects of treatment are only the senior’s enjoyment and companionship.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Anchorage, Alaska, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. To create a customized care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at (907) 770-0907 today.