Sep 20, 2018 by Mark McGoldrick
The arts have been used to help people with cognitive disorders for many years. Recently, poetry was added to the list of arts that could help with stress reduction and memory enhancement. It may be the lyrical composition or poetry, its nonlinear structure, or the memories and emotions attached to poems. Whatever the cause, poetry has been found to have a powerful effect on seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia.
One suggestion for poetry and other arts helping seniors with Alzheimer's and dementia comes from Daniel Potts, a neurologist with the VA Medical Center in Alabama. He notes, "The arts bypass some of the pathways that are being damaged in Alzheimer’s disease and tap into ones that are not normally utilized...Creativity taps into emotional memory and the language that’s tied to emotions.”
Reading and listening to poetry has been found to reduce stress levels, have a calming effect on the seniors, and can even help reintroduce long-term memories. Seniors who can no longer read poetry by themselves can still benefit from poetry in the comfort of their own home with the help of Comfort Keepers senior in home care.
Caregivers can also help seniors write their own poetry as poetic writing seem to have the same benefits and reading or listening to poetry. Tapping into the creative portions of the brain, seniors are often able to spark memories. Even better, writing poetry has been shown to bring a great deal of happiness and satisfaction in the present.
Our senior in home care specializes in dementia and Alzheimer's support. From housekeeping and personal care support to memory care assistance and companionship, Comfort Keepers’ care providers are specially trained to address the challenges and unique needs of seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. This includes helping your senior loved one enjoy the benefits of reading, writing, or listening to poetry.
For more information about poetry and dementia or to learn more about the many ways our senior in home care can help your senior loved one to maximize their freedom, independence, quality of life, and safety, contact a senior home care coordinator today.