Dementia art program
"When drugs are not enough and words are useless" -Attilia Cossio, Art Therapist
Therapeutic art assists in the overall mental health of an individual with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias because it stimulates the part of the brain that is still intact. As many parts of the brain are deteriorating, the part of the brain responsible for the emotions, short term memory and the artistic side becomes activated. The process of art is aimed at reducing the degeneration of cognitive functioning and allowing for moments of overall mental health and well being.
Using art allows the mind to take back control and become independent again within the world of art making. Since the mind has lost the ability to control every day activities and develop functional relationships, the individual suffering from any form of dementia may feel inadequate and reliable on others. Art is such an important part of therapy for this disease since it allows for feelings of adequacy and independence.
The mood of an individual with Alzheimer's disease and dementia is commonly depresssion, anxiety and frustration. This is due to the fact that the daily routines are now difficult or impossible to do without the help of a caregiver. Feelings of inadequacy cause many individuals to fall into a state of depression with no feasible outlet to express their feelings and emotions. Participating in therapeautic art sessions typically exhibits unexpressed feelings and forgotton memories which in turn release emotions and thought that otherwise may not have been articulated. Participants also display improvements in language, better socialization in group settings, and a stronger sense of self-awareness.
Results of Therapeutic Art
-Improved mood and behaviour
-New form of communication
-Gain back personal control
-Reduction in depressed emotions
-Stimulated the mind
Last Updated: 11/24/11