Creative but many other neural networks participated as well.

Creative
therapies have demonstrated the ability to improve the quality of life for individuals
living with Alzheimer’s disease as well as other forms of dementia. It
stimulates the senses, and gets people talking about what they are seeing,
listening to, or creating, and how it makes them feel. This mental stimulus
triggers a variety of areas in the brain, which allows the individual to connect
to memories and thoughts previously forgotten by the illness.

Music

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Evidence
has shown a connection between listening to music and improved memory
recollection and communication skills. One method that is showing to be quite
effective is the use of personalized music therapy, in which a playlist of
songs is put together on an iPod. This is then supplied to the individual along
with a pair of headphones, and they can listen to it as they wish. When exposed
to the music, many positive changes are experienced. These include:

·        
Improved
ability to recall forgotten memories

·        
Enhanced
social skills

·        
Increased
movement

·        
Favorable
alterations in moods and emotional states

·        
Decreased
feelings of pain and discomfort

The
benefits seen while the individual was listening to music carried over after
the headphones are removed, allowing them to carry on conversations and remember
things they were otherwise unable to.

Researchers
in Finland conducted fMRI testing to determine what areas of the brain
responded when listening to music, and found that not only were the auditory
areas engaged, but many other neural networks participated as well. These
included the motor areas of the brain, limbic areas which are associated with
emotions, and the “default mode network” which is assumed to be associated with
creativity and daydreaming. Music also stimulated areas involved with updating
memory events, paying attention, and making predictions. Dopamine, a neuro-transmitter
which sends pleasure signals, is released when listening to music as well.

Early stage
individuals can help maintain cognitive functioning with music therapy, and
those further into their illness benefit from the experience too.

Drawing and Painting

Despite the
progressive nature of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the imagination remains
intact. Allowing individuals the ability to create artistic works lets them
express their imagination in a way that they otherwise may not be able to.

Using
artistic mediums like brushes, pencils, and clay encourages the use of motor
skills and can help to recover these abilities, similar to a rehabilitation
program. Creating art also helps to improve mood, promote relaxation, and
provides an activity that can be done with family who otherwise have no means
of communication with the individual.

At The Holiday
retirement communities, we provide a variety of activities, programs, and excursions
for our residents to keep them entertained and engaged. With the company of
peers along with round-the-clock staff on site, no one ever feels alone. Our caring
team looks after each of our residents like their own family.