Benefits of Art and Creative Work With Dementia


It is not just a myth, legend, or hobby to have art and creative work implemented into assisted living programs for dementia. Any form or medium of art that a dementia patient can enjoy, will have enough power to evoke emotions, and even long-term memories. These are therapeutic activities with a purpose. A wide body of research indicates that art like sculpting or painting can even improve the lives of dementia patients. Learn more about the many benefits of art or creative work for dementia patients.

Lower Anxiety Levels

Art has long been known to reduce anxiety levels in almost anybody, and it offers similar benefits to dementia patients, and then some. Dementia patients have more anxiety than the average person, because losing memory and basic life skills are devastating to them. Dementia patients aren’t always in memory loss mode, and when they aren’t, they are worried about when that next moment will hit.

Art helps them to have something to focus on that they can enjoy. There is something to be said about being able to accomplish something that is beautiful. It also gives dementia patients a single-mindedness for the moment that serves as a powerful brain exercise for them as well. Through art, dementia patients can focus on a painting that rose, or dancing that movement, and nothing else.

Opportunities for Self Expression

Dementia patients struggle with a loss of control in their lives, and art allows them to feel a sense of control and empowerment again. Assisted living centers are ideal locations for them to find the time and the freedom to create art that they can enjoy.

Dementia targets the brain components that impact memory and language, which are located in the left hemisphere of the brain. A dementia patient may find some language and linguistic impairment. Creating art involves another brain component that allows for self-expression differently. This provides both freedom and empowerment in a world where that feels like those things are decreasing every day.

Memory Retention

Creative work has the capacity to help those with dementia trigger some memories. Most people that engage in creative work as a therapeutic exercise, do so in order to feel connected to something in their lives. There is often a large nostalgic component to music, dance, and what people do and don’t decide to paint or draw.

This part of artistic creation is a tremendous benefit to adults with dementia. Being able to create something that brings back a special memory or feeling from their lives has a powerful impact. This will not only instill confidence but has the capacity to trigger more positive memories. The more that patients with dementia can feel this sense of nostalgia, the better their day. That is what assisted living is all about.

Create Art Today

If you or someone you love is suffering from dementia, considering art at home or in an assisted living facility can help. Choose what you want to create, what colors you want it to have, and put your creation somewhere you can see it all the time. You may not even know you are bringing a memory to life until you see the finished product. It will feel exhilarating, which is just one of the many benefits of art for people with dementia.

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