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On October 9, 2012, Posted by , In Alzheimer's Disease,Caregivers, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Home Care Services in Sterling Heights, MI

ALZHEIMER’S & ART: REACHING THE SPIRIT WITHIN

Researchers and caregivers have discovered art therapy has a positive impact on patients with Alzheimer’s disease. With attention focused most often on medical issues, safety, nutrition and financial concerns, incorporating an arts-related activity into your loved one’s routine can provide a venue for creative expression and pleasure that otherwise may not be available. Specifically, art therapy can enhance:

  • – Communication Skills–Painting or drawing enables your loved one to communicate thoughts that he/she is unable to do with words; likewise, using these same techniques can help you convey emotions and ideas to your loved one.
  • – Quality of Life–Art therapy can facilitate self-expression and reduce frustration or agitation to help make daily activities more manageable, particularly when speaking becomes difficult, or impossible.
  • – Physical Skills–Both sides of the brain are engaged with art therapy. As a result, your loved one’s coordination and ability to focus on a task are boosted.
  • – Relief of Stress–Constructive and calming, art therapy can help quiet emotionally-charged situations and redirect attention to positive activities that can relieve stress for your loved one and you.
  • – Relationships–Because art therapy is participatory, often it offers an opportunity for companionship to enjoy an activity together.

Re-Awakening Memories

Although the reasons are not well understood, patients with Alzheimer’s disease respond favorably to art- and music-based activities. For example, a recent study documented the link between music and memories.

Dr. Petr Janata, associate director of psychology at the University of California Davis’ Center for Mind and Brain Research, compared responses of healthy people listening to music with those of patients with Alzheimer’s. His findings showed familiar music helped both groups recall memories. In fact, Dr. Janata learned that the same region of the brain reacts to music and also responds to a melody’s relevance in a person’s life.

These findings can be applied to your loved one by selecting and playing familiar music from favorite childhood activities, weddings, holidays, and also nature–such as sounds from the beach or walks in the park. These musical selections can help re-awaken pleasant moments from his/her lifetime that can be enjoyed once again.

In addition to music, you can choose other arts-based activities and incorporate one or more into your loved one’s routine by:

  • – Selecting an activity related to your loved one’s hobbies or interests.
  • – Identifying some quiet time to do the activity.
  • – Joining in the activity with your loved one.
  • – Offering positive feedback throughout the activity.

Grassroots efforts supporting art therapy have been successful in bringing national attention to the benefits it provides to patients with Alzheimer’s disease. No matter what type of art therapy you choose as part of your loved one’s care, you’ll find the results of creative expression can truly be rewarding.

Source:  http://www.strengthforcaring.com

Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Sterling Heights or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

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