Therapeutic Activities &
Engagement For Dementia
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia should not lead to a lack of engagement or an unstimulated life. Social withdrawal and lack of activity compounds the impact of dementia and can lead to further health complications as well as create an increased burden on care partners. Community based programmes provide essential social connections and opportunities for people living with dementia, as well as their care partners, to gather regularly and break the monotony of home life while fostering a valuable community of individuals facing similar challenges. Global studies show that meaningful activity and engagement in one’s environment through continued opportunities to learn, to socialize, and creatively express oneself through art or music can be far more effective than pharmacological interventions. Purposeful activity has also been shown to improve a person’s mood, quality of life, language and cognitive skills, as well as to help them to cope with memory loss.
Benefits of meaningful activities:
- Mental stimulation and improved brain health
- Physical activity and general health benefits
- Social interaction
- Improved sleep habits
- Improved self-esteem
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Improved quality of life
- Reduction in agitated behaviours leading to greater positive interactions with care partner and family members.
Music is Magic!
According to the British Medical Journal, music is the best type of therapy for reducing behavioural and physiological symptoms of dementia. For those living with dementia music activities have also been shown to improve general attention, cognitive memory, speech and communication skills. Indeed music can improve anyone’s overall health and wellbeing – listening to favourite tunes lowers stress related hormones, maintains cognitive health, encourages social and communication skills and improves physical health through movement and dance – so music is beneficial for families and care providers as well as those living with dementia.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
In addition to the physical benefits associated with exercise, movement and stretching can help to boost mood and improve a sense of well-being. Establishing a gentle exercise routine for those living with dementia has been shown to help overcome sleep problems and reduce agitated behaviors such as restlessness and wandering. With Bermuda’s beautiful beaches, trails and parks there are plenty of opportunities to get outside on Bermudaful days to incorporate light exercise into your daily routine.
ART AS THERAPY
“Losing Language, Gaining Creativity”
It is widely believed that art can be an expressive outlet for those living with dementia, as a different part of the brain is engaged through art than is used for language. Helping people to express thoughts or emotions creatively – particularly for people with language loss where the visual side of their brain is less inhibited by the verbal side – allows visual creativity to flow in even those who have no creative background. Art therapy can have immediate benefits if it is set up for success and enjoyment – consider personal preferences and memories to avoid frustrations. Art stimulates the senses, relieving stress showing cognitive and behavioral improvements and an increased self-worth and confidence.
AAD’s Community Programs
AAD offers music and movement activities to benefit those living with dementia in Bermuda. These activities are offered at no charge in an engaging, creative and safe environment. Learn more about the activities we offer here.