The Importance of Teaching Drawing to People with Dementia
There are many compelling reasons to teach people with dementia how to draw. One key reason is that creativity is not reliant on memory. By introducing drawing as a form of expression, individuals with dementia can tap into their creativity and find a new outlet for self-expression.
It's important to note that creativity is a skill that can be learned and developed, with studies showing that engaging in artistic activities can enhance cognitive abilities and memory in people with dementia.
Moreover, art has been found to positively impact mental health, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. By participating in complex activities like learning to draw, the brain forms new connections between neurons, leading to improved cognitive function.
What are the benefits of memory care and art therapy?
Drawing, in particular, can help foster communication between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The left side of the brain handles logical tasks, while the right side is responsible for creativity and artistic expression.
The Birches memory care activity coordinator has witnessed the benefits of teaching drawing to residents in The Birches' memory care neighborhood, Encore.
We use a simple shape method to guide residents in drawing complex subjects such as bicycles. Participants follow step-by-step instructions in our sessions, gradually building their confidence and skills.
Residents' cognition is stimulated with each drawing session, enabling them to utilize both brain hemispheres. This shift from solely relying on the left hemisphere to engaging both sides of the brain leads to the emergence of creativity in the later stages of the drawing process.
Residents freely add their elements, like roads, colors, and trees, and take pride in discussing the differences between their two pictures and their sense of accomplishment.
The striking differences observed as the brain transitions from analytical to creative thinking highlight the potential for memory improvement through creative activities. This shift between hemispheres fosters a flow of ideas and enhances cognitive function. Researchers suggest that engaging in creative activities can positively impact memory and cognitive abilities for individuals with dementia.
If you're interested in learning more about memory care community features and delving deeper into the advantages of activities for our memory care residents, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.