How residents at our centers use art to unlock hidden memories
Visual art, music, and literature color the world we live in. And more so if you are someone living with dementia. Enjoying the arts provides a creative outlet to express emotions, engage and communicate with others, even as their condition progresses.
“At MJHS, we believe in the documented power of art to help patients living with dementia. By using art and other creative approaches, we can create a safe space for residents so they can work through their emotions and unlock memories that have been hidden for years.” Says Kendra Ray from the MJHS Centers for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care
Drawing or painting with easy-to-use implements gives patients with dementia the freedom to create and express themselves without words. They can communicate a whole world with just shapes and colors. Completing a project provides a sense of accomplishment and a tangible reminder of a feeling, emotion, or memory.
Unlock the Power of Art at Home
- Provide a range of art supplies and let your family member choose their medium. They may enjoy painting, drawing, or modeling with clay. Choose objects that are easy to manipulate but avoid crayons or other implements that are for young children. Watercolors, pastels, and thick charcoal pencils work well.
- Ask about their creation. Why did they choose the colors they used? If they draw a landscape, what does it remind them of? If not, what did they feel while they were drawing? Conversations about their composition can help individuals with dementia remain engaged and tap into connections that may have been lost.
MJHS Memory Care Virtual Art Gallery
Programs such as these are made possible thanks to the generosity of grateful families, individual donors, and charitable foundations. Please help fund this program by making a donation today.