No matter what your age, creating art is a fun way to express yourself. But did you know that art can also be medicine? Art therapy is a great tool to help people express themselves, and it has special benefits for those living with dementia. Read on to learn why experts recommend art therapy for dementia, and how it can benefit you or someone you love.
Art Therapy for Dementia
What Is Art Therapy?
You may be wondering how drawing a picture could help your mental health. Art therapy is a specific kind of therapy that integrates practicing art techniques into sessions with a trained therapist. Most art therapy sessions involve a patient creating art based on a prompt from their therapist. The therapist will then help them think about what they created, and what elements of their art might be symbolic or refer to deeper thoughts or hidden emotions.
It may not sound like a doctor’s visit, but art therapy works! It has been shown to help people understand and moderate their emotions and improve their self-esteem and sense of well-being. Art therapy can work with any age group, and it’s appropriate for anyone who is looking for a new way to understand and express their emotions.
Art therapy for dementia is becoming an increasingly popular therapeutic option. The following are just a few of the reasons you may want to try it:
Finding a New Voice
One of the most frustrating aspects of dementia is that it can make it difficult to verbally communicate. People living with dementia are often frustrated by a progressive loss of language. However, when your brain loses language skills, it rebalances by focusing on visual communication and expression. Art therapy helps by giving people who are suffering from language loss a brand new “language” that they can use to express themselves. Research shows that people living with dementia have an increased drive to express themselves visually and can even develop astounding visual art skills. Art therapy gives these new skills an outlet, and helps seniors living with dementia “say” the things that are on their minds.
Improved Life Skills
In addition, art therapy for dementia stimulates the parts of the brain related to language and memory and can encourage improvement in a variety of areas. Studies have shown that seniors living with dementia who participate in art therapy improve their cognitive functions and communication skills. Art therapy can even increase their confidence in their ability to perform day-to-day activities. These small differences can add up to a big boost in quality of life and overall happiness.
More Happy Days
It’s important to find ways to help seniors living with dementia not only cope, but thrive. Depression is linked with dementia, and treating depression effectively is challenging for dementia sufferers. Art therapy can provide help for seniors who cannot participate in a traditional talk-based therapy session. Moreover, seniors who participate in group art therapy get the added bonus of practicing social skills and having good interactions with others, which can help reduce loneliness.
Even if depression isn’t an issue, art therapy for dementia can still bring joy to a senior’s life. You may remember the fun you had as a child playing with art supplies. Learning to express yourself creatively is rewarding, and many seniors living with dementia who participate in art therapy report feeling happier as a result. Finding opportunities to enjoy life and create happy memories is essential to those living with dementia. Art therapy can help.
At Springhouse Village we know how important it is to spend your golden years in a supportive environment. We work hard to make sure every member of our community can thrive. To learn more about the amenities and services we offer, contact us today.