art therapy and dementia care decatur ga

Learn how an art program can help clients with Alzheimer’s.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to understanding the thoughts and emotions of someone with dementia, no truer words have been spoken. Artistic expression is important for each and every one of us, but for those with Alzheimer’s disease, self-expression through art therapy can provide a full range of benefits: improved socialization and physical health, a calmer, more contented demeanor, and even increased apathy and self-worth.

Since artistic qualities are not dependent upon cognitive or language abilities or impairment, the opportunity to engage in both creating individual artwork and viewing the artwork of others allows the person to tap into his or her emotions and express them in a meaningful, positive way. This can help to reduce some of the more challenging behaviors that can result from feelings of frustration, fear, and sadness.

A number of art museums across the country now offer art appreciation programs for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia, following the lead of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which created the Meet Me at MoMA program. Research results from studies done on this particular program, which includes a 90-minute discussion on several pieces of the museum’s artwork, documented improved mood in the participants, a greater sense of connectedness and reduced emotional distress after the sessions. The program is also beneficial to caregivers, who are able to enjoy the outing and see the joy and engagement of their senior loved one.

If the senior has always enjoyed a particular type of art, try starting there to rekindle the pleasure experienced in the past. It’s also a good idea to try a variety of different art mediums with your senior loved one: paint, colored pencils, chalk, clay, fabric, even musical instruments and singing. You’ll be able to discern which activities the senior seems to prefer, and can try to expand upon those particular offerings.

To explore art options for your senior loved one, contact the in-home care team at Atlanta Home Care Partners. Our caregivers are specifically trained in the most effective dementia care techniques, and know-how to help older adults with Alzheimer’s realize their fullest potential. We can also suggest ideas and help seniors participate in a variety of appropriate artistic endeavors, museum outings, and more. Contact us at (404)228-0103 to learn how we can improve the quality of life for your senior loved one with the best dementia care and other home care services in Decatur and the surrounding area.