alzheimer's care

Tag Archive for quality of life

Art Therapy for the Elderly

Artistic Expression Helps Seniors

Creative expression benefits seniors in many ways, including those with dementia. Imagination and creativity can flourish despite cognitive difficulties. New areas of potential can even be discovered that were never before realized. Creative expression benefits seniors in many ways, including those with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or other degenerative disorders.  According to Barbara Bagan PhD., older adults are in the final developmental stage where they must integrate their past, present, and future life experiences. When meaningful activities are pursued, seniors can achieve growth while overcoming feelings of longing and despair. Expressive art can also boost neural pathways by forging new and stronger dendritic connections which fight the effects of degenerative disease.

10 Reasons to use Art Therapy

  • Promotes relaxation. To strengthen this effect, create ambiance with soft music and minimum background noise.
  • Provides means of expression and communication. When words fail, art can provide a means to communicate and express experiences. Creating art can also be a wonderful time to invite your loved one to communicate with you verbally. Creativity may cause a usually quiet person to become more talkative.
  • Provides a sense of control. Avoid “taking over” or imposing assistance if it is not needed, by being sensitive about when to offer help. Make sure to recognize accomplishments, and avoid overly long creative sessions that might cause tiredness or frustration.
  • Improves socialization. When possible, group art activities can enhance feelings of social connection. If a group is not available, join in and make art together. Display your loved one’s art work where it can be seen.
  • Promotes playfulness and humor. Keep a light heart and look for moments to encourage play and humor.
  • Boosts cognitive functioning. Make the most of it by choosing a time of day when your loved one is at their best level of alertness and focus.
  • Stimulates the senses. Working with one’s hands in a variety of mediums and textures can provide an abundance of tactile stimulation. When possible, enhance this experience by taking your art session outdoors or near an open window. Play his or her favorite music. Create items that can stimulate the senses long after they are completed, through textures, scents, or memory recall.
  • Strengthens identity and self-esteem. Offer compliments and keep completed artwork displayed.
  • Engage Spirituality. When thinking of ideas for free-expression, provide prompts that invite your loved one to connect with spiritual concepts and values that are meaningful to them.
  • Alleviates boredom. Creative sessions don’t have to be initiated on a schedule. When possible, make materials accessible to your loved one so he or she can choose art activities at will.

Tips

You don’t have to break the bank. Art supplies can be quite inexpensive, and remember, the activities you choose don’t have to be complicated. Drawing, painting, or collage may be just the right thing, but really, the possibilities are endless. Beautifully designed coloring books for adults are now available which can provide hours of relaxation with just a handful of markers or colored pencils. If your loved one has a previous art hobby or interest, this may be the perfect time to encourage renewed interest. If not, providing a variety of new activities could result in a newly discovered passion. Remember to use caution and avoid unsupervised use of materials that could be a safety hazard. And don’t forget to allow opportunities for your loved one to experience and appreciate art created by others. A local co-op or museum may be a great choice for your next outing.

The Benefits of Home Care

Man-getting-out-of-bed1-300x300Home care has become increasingly popular as an assisted living option, as more elderly people need assistance. Because of the latest medical breakthroughs, millions of adults are now finding themselves taking care of older relatives and parents. When do you decide to utilize home care versus doing it on your own? Read More

Happiness increases with age — Guest Post

I’d like to welcome Prime Medical Alert to my blog today.

Recently, Psychological Science published a report showing that happiness does in fact increase with age, but that overall wellbeing is determined through the time-period a person is born. At first, this doesn’t make much sense and even seems contradictory, but let me explain. Read More

Preventing Falls in Older Adults

Prevent Falls in SeniorsIt is estimated that one in three adults age 65 and older fall each year. Older adults are hospitalized five times more frequently for falling related injuries than any other cause. Accidental falls are the leading cause of injury related deaths and non-fatal falls shown in one study estimated the average cost of falling to be $19,440 per person.

In addition to the injuries, many older adults develop a fear of falling and limit their activity. This actually decreases their mobility and increases their chance of falling. Read More

How To Communicate with a Stroke Survivor

seniorconcernA stroke can cause vision problems, paralysis to one side  of the body, and memory loss. Therefore, communication with a stroke victim is not always easy.  The following techniques can help you to communicate effectively with your loved one. Read More

Increase Strength, Balance, Flexibility and Endurance

Did you know…

Habit is the single best predictor of inactivity. Often a lifetime of ingrained behavior must be overcome.  Incorporating exercise as part of a previously established routine will make it easier to remember to exercise. Include simple exercises in a daily routine to meet goals!

For a frail person, just working on getting up and down out of a chair unassisted is using muscles that need to be exercised. Focus first on the goals for this person,address any of  his or her concerns, and any barriers that prevent the exercise. Read More

Aging in Place and Quality of Life

I am often asked why I began working in the senior care industry. It all began about 30 years ago while attending Bible school. I worked in a nursing home to help pay the bills. It was there that I discovered how much I enjoyed seniors. I was drawn to their wisdom, their stories, and their sense of humor, their dignity, and often their quiet suffering. It was the suffering that really affected me, and that was something I tried to alleviate when I could. Read More