Dementia and Alzheimer’s are on the rise, so research of treatment methods are increasing too. There are so many resources available online for treatments that it can be overwhelming to find one that works. Although, there are three methods that have been tried again and again with positive results. These methods are art therapy, music therapy, and pet therapy.
Different Forms of Therapy
A calm way to express emotions and positive forms of communication are through art therapy. It creates a healthy outlet for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. It helps increase concentration and their attention span. At times verbal communication can be difficult with dementia, so art therapy allows them to express themselves without speaking.
In addition, patients are often easier to care for after participating in art therapy.
It stimulates the person on a variety of levels, such as neurological, cognitive, sensory, and emotional. Art therapy is effective because it creates stimulus on all different levels.
The benefits of art therapy include:
- Increase in mood and well-being
- Decrease in anxiety
- Opportunity for positive emotions
- Validation of one’s personal experience
- Positive social interaction
Music can improve mental and physical well-being of those with dementia. Music is such an effective tool because the inclination and appreciation of music are usually the last remaining abilities for someone with dementia. Rhythmic responses don’t use a lot of cognitive or mental processing either. The motor center of the brain responds to auditory rhythmic cues with ease.
Late into the disease of dementia a person’s ability to partake in music, especially playing with rhythm and singing, stay intact. Music is an efficient way to communicate with people who are in the last stages of dementia. Music has been shown to improve cognitive ability. Pairing music with activities helps the person remember the activity, improving cognitive ability over time. New music can help in forming patterns to manage stress and enhancing sleep because there are no pre-existing memories attached to it.
The benefits of music therapy include:
- Easier to recall memories
- A positive change in mood
- Social interaction with others
- Boosts brain activity
Animals are trained as companions to help those with dementia. Overall, animals are seen as being non-threatening and friendly, so interactive behaviors become increased while they are with the animals. Feelings of boredom and loneliness have been combated with pet therapy. There is a higher increase of positive emotions after spending time with the animals, lowering depression and anxiety. In addition, behavioral issues have decreased as well. Trained dogs provide companionship and love, also they have been taught to bring someone with dementia back home after they forgot where home was.
The benefits of Animal therapy include:
- a calming effect
- decreased behavioral problems
- improved nutrition
- increased social interaction
- increased physical activity
Fairmont Grand Senior Living Community
Fairmont Grand is a resident centered senior living and memory care facility in Rapid City, SD. Our goal is to create an environment where resident well-being is at the heart of everything we do.
Our wide range of services are designed to meet you or your loved one’s daily needs. We offer restaurant style dining options, a variety of physical activities, and give residents the opportunity to live as independently as possible.