Seniors with Alzheimer’s may experience a variety of mental and emotional challenges as the disease progresses. However, research has indicated having an artistic outlet can help these seniors maintain a higher quality of life. Anchorage Alzheimer’s care experts discuss a few of the ways art can be used to alleviate your elderly loved one’s Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Preserve Sense of Self
A 2013 study published in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences followed renowned sculptor Mary Hecht. As her Alzheimer’s progressed, her personality and cognitive abilities quickly began to change. However, what didn’t change was her ability to create beautiful sculptures and paintings. Many of the doctors who followed her noted she only appeared to be herself when she was given tools to make a beautiful painting or sculpt an elaborate scene.
Many seniors go through a period where they doubt their own skills, but these feelings can be especially strong in those with Alzheimer’s. While many of your loved one’s abilities will decrease because of Alzheimer’s, you might discover he or she has an unusual knack for some form of art. If your loved one is not comfortable with traditional options such as painting or drawing, suggest other art forms like whittling or singing. Finding a hidden skill after your loved one develops Alzheimer’s can keep his or her confidence high and change his or her life.
Enhance Communication Skills
Direct conversations can be difficult to follow when seniors have dementia-related disorders like Alzheimer’s. They often find it challenging to choose words and put thoughts together while others are waiting for them to finish. However, creative outlets like writing and storytelling can be effective tools for helping seniors in the earliest stages of these disorders communicate more easily.
Provide an Emotional Outlet
Seniors who do not have a way to express their emotions are much more likely to become agitated, angry, and confused, especially those who have Alzheimer’s. If your loved one can no longer work through emotions with words, creating art may help relieve these symptoms. From drawing to sculpting, these actions can help your loved one’s mind stay focused as he or she takes control of bottled up feelings.
At Home Care Assistance, we believe creating art and participating in other therapeutic activities can have a significant impact on a senior’s battle against Alzheimer’s. Included free with any of our care plans, we offer the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, an activities-based program designed to slow cognitive decline, delay the onset of dementia, and help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment. For more information on at-home care Anchorage seniors and their families can rely on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (907) 770-0907 today.