Caring for Seniors: The Effects of Art Therapy on Dementia Patients
Creating and appreciating art are all things that we often do to not only help relieve stress, but to reignite our passion and creativity as well. Seniors diagnosed with dementia often struggle to express themselves due to lost memories and forgotten emotions, but visual art can help them reignite their creativity and bring back those dormant feelings. The process of creating art can be very therapeutic and it is something many of us enjoy. Being able to communicate better with dementia patients as well as encourage them to further express themselves is something we all hope for, and art therapy has the potential to do just that.
Art therapy, whether that be drawing, painting, or sculpting can help enhance communication as well as social interaction. This can help dementia patients stimulate brain function and improve sensory motor skills as well. Creating art can also give the artist a sense of self-worth and raise their self-esteem. This can be essential to patients who have lost their way and can no longer see themselves as they once were. Being able to create art can often help dementia patients regain feelings of control and help foster a sense of identity which many may have lost. Art therapy has also been shown to be an effective stress reliever and can help to cultivate emotional resilience. Although a senior may no longer be able to use language to communicate, they can still paint blue skies and green fields of grass that can reveal a part of themselves or their past.
Art has the ability to express what a person cannot say. Although we cannot all be aware of everything a senior may need, it is important to stay educated on what may be beneficial for them. Art therapy has a vast potential to help inspire and rekindle the lost, whether in dementia patients or even ourselves. We at T2SA, highly encourage you to find time to create and to encourage those around you to do so as well!