The Arts and Alzheimer’s Care

What do you think of when you think of Alzheimer’s care? Do you think of a loved one who has the disease or a family caring for a loved one with memory loss? Five million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s. Did you know it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States?

If you are a caregiver of a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia you know that your loved one is someone different every day, sometimes almost every hour. One minute they are with you and in the moment the next they are trying to make lunch for their late husband who has been gone for over 10 years. Or they are talking about how lovely your garden looks and then accuse you of taking all their beautiful flowers. Sometimes there is no way of knowing what is going to “flip the switch” and cause them to be upset or confused.

Have you ever heard that music and art can make the heart happy?

Research has shown that music therapy and art therapy can help with the quality of life in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Patients who have never shown any signs of artistic abilities can suddenly paint or play an instrument they have never played before. When Alzheimer’s and dementia can cause verbal communication road blocks, patients are able to express themselves by using art or music as their tools! They are able to get their frustrations out in a non-aggressive way, bring a smile to their face and enhances their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Some loved ones may have happy memories of their children or themselves creating wonderful sounds or pictures. Moreover, for caregivers it can be difficult to find things keep loved ones engaged and busy, without making them feel like they are being babysat when they are having “here” moments. Dancing to music while they are creating beautiful art could be the highlight of their day, even if later they don’t remember it later.

Curious to learn more about art and music therapy for memory care? Let’s chat. Contact the Paradigm Living Concepts team.

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