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The Powerful Effects of Poetry on Seniors With Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Sep 27, 2018 by Alan White

For seniors living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, the arts and poetry have been shown to have a major impact on their lives and can sometimes even help slow down the symptoms associated with their ailments. Whether writing their own pieces or reading a collection of their favorite works, poetry can make a huge difference in the physical, mental, and emotional states of elderly adults.

Poetry, like many art forms, is nonlinear which allows its partakers to interpret it however the like. This helps seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s by forcing their brains to use muscles that aren’t normally used. “The arts bypass some of the pathways that are being damaged in Alzheimer’s disease and tap into ones that are not normally utilized,” says Daniel Potts, a neurologist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. So while the parts of the brain that are damaged can lose some of their function, art like poetry can open up new avenues to reach our loved ones afflicted by memory loss-related diseases.

Here are some of the benefits of poetry:

Writing

  • Creativity: To write poetry, one can often write about moments or life events that have happened in their past. When seniors can release those emotional memories onto paper, they then can more vividly remember them or be reminded of their past that was otherwise forgotten.
  • Therapeutic: Stressed out seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia can also find solace in writing poetry, even if just a few words at a time. This boost in mood can provide confidence and a sense of accomplishment, which many seniors look for as they age.

Reading

  • Memory: Listening to or reading favorite poems, or even self-written poems from the past, can help remind seniors of past memories and experiences.
  • Calming: Much in the ways writing poetry can have a therapeutic effect, just reading or listening to poetry can have the same results—providing calmness and a reduction in stress.

Let Comfort Keepers of Gainesville, GA Help

At Comfort Keepers of Gainesville, our caregivers with the in home care services they need to live happier, healthier, safer, and independent lives. Our caregivers can offer personalized short-term respite care or 24 hour care to provide seniors with their daily needs like housekeeping or meal preparation.

Contact us today for a consultation on how our in home care services can be a benefit to your senior loved one.

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