The Artful Brain: Alzheimer’s and Art Therapy

The Artful Brain: Alzheimer's and Art Therapy

Music and art can enrich the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Both allow for self-expression and engagement, even after dementia has progressed.   Alzheimer’s Association

To put it simply, art helps our brain. Each time we consume art, our brain is working to compute what information our eyes are taking in. Our minds attempt to make sense of what patterns, visuals, shapes of each piece.

Beyond the brain’s skill at making sense of what we’re seeing, the brain actually goes through changes when we look at a beautiful art piece. In fact, according to The Telegraph, looking at a gorgeous painting, sculpture, or other artwork increases blood flow to the brain by as much as 10% — the equivalent of looking at someone you love.”   The University of Arizona

So, where does Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Memory come into play?

Art helps create a sense of purpose for those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Self expression still needs to remain a large part of a person’s life. An art project helps the caree and the caregiver, as well! The Alzheimer’s Association suggests the following tips when approaching a project with your loved one with Alzheimer’s:

  • Keep the project on an adult level. Avoid anything that might be demeaning or seem childlike.
  • Build conversation into the project. Provide encouragement, discuss what the person is creating or reminiscence.
  • Help the person begin the activity. If the person is painting, you may need to start the brush movement. Most other projects should only require basic instruction and assistance.
  • Use safe materials. Avoid toxic substances and sharp tools.
  • Allow plenty of time, keeping in mind that the person doesn’t have to finish the project in one sitting.

Art is a powerful tool!

Whether you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, are a caregiver, or are looking to exercise your brain, pick up a brush and express yourself. Get creative!

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Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones is a passionate and results-oriented Clinical Research Marketing Professional at ClinCloud Clinical Research. With a strong background in healthcare communications and a deep understanding of the clinical research landscape, Stephanie plays a crucial role in raising awareness about the importance of clinical trials and the innovative therapies they offer. She is dedicated to educating the public about the opportunities to participate in research and contribute to advancements in medicine.