Human creativity is the birthright of every person and a powerful force within all of us. Not just the domain of artists, we use creativity every time we solve a problem, get a new idea, invent a new way of doing things or act spontaneously.
Creativity is available within people with dementia. In fact, being creative can intensify starting in early Alzheimer’s as people feel freer to create without self-editing. The natural disinhibition that is a part of the disease brings the opportunity to actively enjoy and engage in creative meaningful activities.
People with dementia can be surprisingly fine creators of music, art, photography, paintings, plays, poetry and more. According to various research, creative meaningful activities for people with dementia can reduce sundowning, challenging behavior, boredom and restlessness. These activities can also help improve moods, cooperation, relative independence, skills and functionality.
People with dementia may need help organizing and carrying out any creative project. This allows family members, friends or other caregivers a chance to create with them. Becoming a creative partner joins caregivers and care recipients in an enjoyable and energizing form of collaboration. Creating alongside one another allows inspiration and learning to flow in both directions, from care recipient to caregiver and back again. Roll up your sleeves and join in the fun!
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Deborah Bier, PhD, has a master's in counseling psychology and a doctorate in therapeutic counseling. In addition, Debbie has obtained the following credentials: