How Art Can Enrich the Life of a Patient with Dementia or Alzheimer's

How Art Can Enrich the Life of a Patient with Dementia or Alzheimer's

Art is being used to help patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Although studies on art’s effects on the brain are limited, research suggests that common behavioral symptoms of dementia, anxiety, agitation and depression can be eased by artistic engagement. A person with dementia is biologically experiencing a significant loss of their ability to negotiate the new information and stimulus of everything--their thoughts, surroundings and circumstances.  This can cause anxiety, agitation, and depression.  These feelings can cause restlessness and the patient may feel the need to move around, pace or even wander.  These feelings and behaviors can intensify and often escalate with a change in stimulus, or mediation interactions that worsen the person’s ability to think.

Art is being used to help patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Although studies on art’s effects on the brain are limited, research suggests that common behavioral symptoms of dementia, anxiety, agitation and depression can be eased by artistic engagement. A person with dementia is biologically experiencing a significant loss of their ability to negotiate the new information and stimulus of everything--their thoughts, surroundings and circumstances.  This can cause anxiety, agitation, and depression.  These feelings can cause restlessness and the patient may feel the need to move around, pace or even wander.  These feelings and behaviors can intensify and often escalate with a change in stimulus, or mediation interactions that worsen the person’s ability to think.

Art Can Help with Anxiety, Agitation, and Depression

Art Can Help with Anxiety, Agitation, and Depression

October 7, 2019  by Jacque Guerra

October 7, 2019  by Jacque Guerra

Situations that may lead to agitation:

Situations that may lead to agitation:

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© 2019 MemoryWellbeing.com.  All Rights Reserved.

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·       Fatigue

·       Fear (general or associated with condition)

·       New residence 

·       Travel

·       Hospitalization 

·       Presence of houseguests

·       Caregiver changes

·       Misperceived threats

·       Fatigue

·       Fear (general or associated with condition)

·       New residence 

·       Travel

·       Hospitalization 

·       Presence of houseguests

·       Caregiver changes

·       Misperceived threats

“But researchers have found that art may allow these patients to express themselves even when their verbal skills have failed,” says Warachal Eileen Faison, MD, clinical services director at the Alzheimer’s Research & Clinical Programs department at the Medical University of South Carolina. “… In addition, these activities may promote communication between people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.” 

“Various art activities—painting, drawing, music, movement/dance, poetry, or drama—are offered for pleasure, relaxation, and socialization as well as a variety of treatment goals like reduced boredom, enhanced morale, and even improved cognition. Art and other expressive art activities serve as vital treatment modalities for older adults with dementias. Though these changes and events may be short-lived, they do, however, contribute to the overall quality of life in older adults. And some research does demonstrate that the effects are longer-lived than previously thought. In some cases, when patients are exposed to making or viewing art, the changes and memories can last hours or even days after the creative experience.” Barbara Bagan, PhD, ATR-BC, a registered and board-certified arts therapist.

“Often times, dementia and Alzheimer’s patients show anxiety through fidgeting and restless hands. Therefore, activities for dementia patients should also include utility boxes and busy boards to keep fingers and minds active.” Bruce Barnet, managing principal with Healthcare Products, makers of the Artist Life Station and the global leader in supplying products to healthcare professionals for those suffering with many forms of dementia, especially Alzheimer's.

“But researchers have found that art may allow these patients to express themselves even when their verbal skills have failed,” says Warachal Eileen Faison, MD, clinical services director at the Alzheimer’s Research & Clinical Programs department at the Medical University of South Carolina. “… In addition, these activities may promote communication between people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.” 

“Various art activities—painting, drawing, music, movement/dance, poetry, or drama—are offered for pleasure, relaxation, and socialization as well as a variety of treatment goals like reduced boredom, enhanced morale, and even improved cognition. Art and other expressive art activities serve as vital treatment modalities for older adults with dementias. Though these changes and events may be short-lived, they do, however, contribute to the overall quality of life in older adults. And some research does demonstrate that the effects are longer-lived than previously thought. In some cases, when patients are exposed to making or viewing art, the changes and memories can last hours or even days after the creative experience.” Barbara Bagan, PhD, ATR-BC, a registered and board-certified arts therapist.

“Often times, dementia and Alzheimer’s patients show anxiety through fidgeting and restless hands. Therefore, activities for dementia patients should also include utility boxes and busy boards to keep fingers and minds active.” Bruce Barnet, managing principal with Healthcare Products, makers of the Artist Life Station and the global leader in supplying products to healthcare professionals for those suffering with many forms of dementia, especially Alzheimer's.

What was previously available primarily in Memory Care Facilities and Day Centers for patients with Dementia, is now available for both home and private facility use.  The Artist Life Station was created specifically for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer's and dementia. The Life Station was carefully developed with help from the nation's leading memory care programs in an effort to provide therapy for wandering residents through productive engagement. Designed with a series of interactive accessories (listed below), it is a unique tool used in Memory Care facilities and is meant to spark memories and create simple moments of joy.  It is designed to be interactive - encouraging patients to touch, feel, use and share the items that make up each life station.

The Artist Life Station Full Package comes complete with its own workstation (wheelchair accessible) with plenty of lockable storage to store all the artist tools that the patient would use under the supervision of their caregiver. 

  • Magnetic Chalk Board Surface that can be raised and lowered and drawn on directly with chalk or crayon
  • Locking drawer to store supplies 
  • Wheelchair accessible with locking caster wheels
  • Magnetic Surface that cleans easily with wet rag, paper towel or commercial cleaner
  • Dry Erase Coloring Boards with specially designed graphics for easy and advanced coloring levels 
  • Set of dry erase markers 
  • Four adult coloring books 
  • Set of Colored Pencils 
  • Set of Acrylic Paint and Washable Paint, Canvas Paper
  • Watercolor paint set and Watercolor Paper Pad
  • Paint brush set made for acrylic and watercolor paints
  • Paint palette tray
  • Set of Crayons for dry erase, Dustless Chalk
  • Set of Magnetic Wooden Letters with hanging organizer
  • Set of Magnetic Wooden Letters with hanging organizer

What was previously available primarily in Memory Care Facilities and Day Centers for patients with Dementia, is now available for both home and private facility use.  The Artist Life Station was created specifically for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer's and dementia. The Life Station was carefully developed with help from the nation's leading memory care programs in an effort to provide therapy for wandering residents through productive engagement. Designed with a series of interactive accessories (listed below), it is a unique tool used in Memory Care facilities and is meant to spark memories and create simple moments of joy.  It is designed to be interactive - encouraging patients to touch, feel, use and share the items that make up each life station.

The Artist Life Station Full Package comes complete with its own workstation (wheelchair accessible) with plenty of lockable storage to store all the artist tools that the patient would use under the supervision of their caregiver. 

  • Magnetic Chalk Board Surface that can be raised and lowered and drawn on directly with chalk or crayon
  • Locking drawer to store supplies 
  • Wheelchair accessible with locking caster wheels
  • Magnetic Surface that cleans easily with wet rag, paper towel or commercial cleaner
  • Dry Erase Coloring Boards with specially designed graphics for easy and advanced coloring levels 
  • Set of dry erase markers 
  • Four adult coloring books 
  • Set of Colored Pencils 
  • Set of Acrylic Paint and Washable Paint, Canvas Paper
  • Watercolor paint set and Watercolor Paper Pad
  • Paint brush set made for acrylic and watercolor paints
  • Paint palette tray
  • Set of Crayons for dry erase, Dustless Chalk
  • Set of Magnetic Wooden Letters with hanging organizer
  • Set of Magnetic Wooden Letters with hanging organizer

Art Therapy Has Proven to be a Powerful Tool in Treating Anxiety in Alzheimer's Disease

Art Therapy Has Proven to be a Powerful Tool in Treating Anxiety in Alzheimer's Disease

Studies show that in the early stages of dementia, art can help to ease common behavioral symptoms and may also boost mood and self-esteem.  For patients progressing, art is effective because it stimulates the senses and can trigger dormant memories and encourages conversation.  Because of the stimulus it provides, Alzheimer’s patients who can’t communicate verbally can use art as a form of expression which helps them to explore a new vocabulary, art.

Studies show that in the early stages of dementia, art can help to ease common behavioral symptoms and may also boost mood and self-esteem.  For patients progressing, art is effective because it stimulates the senses and can trigger dormant memories and encourages conversation.  Because of the stimulus it provides, Alzheimer’s patients who can’t communicate verbally can use art as a form of expression which helps them to explore a new vocabulary, art.

Experts Say Art Contributes to Overall Quality of Life in Alzheimer’s Patients

Experts Say Art Contributes to Overall Quality of Life in Alzheimer’s Patients

All-In-One Artist Life Station Brings Art Therapy to the Patient

All-In-One Artist Life Station Brings Art Therapy to the Patient

Click Below to Order Your Artist Life Station Today

Click Below to Order Your Artist Life Station Today

Bring art to your home in this conveniently packaged workstation and storage unit. With this all-in-one solution, your loved one can immediately start benefiting from daily engagement with art.

Bring art to your home in this conveniently packaged workstation and storage unit. With this all-in-one solution, your loved one can immediately start benefiting from daily engagement with art.

Disclosure:  I receive compensation for purchases made through links in this post.

Disclosure:  I receive compensation for purchases made through links in this post.

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