Revolutionary Poetry Workshop Helps Seniors with Alzheimer’s

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According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.2 million adults living in the United States have Alzheimer’s. The disease ranks at number 6 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the country. Currently, there is no cure or prevention protocol available for Alzheimer’s disease. Engaging in activities designed to stimulate the brain helps people living with cognitive impairment reconnect with the world around them. With a little assistance, your loved one can engage in a variety of activities.

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Denton, Texas, in-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Journalist Molly Middleton Meyer found a unique method to rebuild the connection. Meyer lost both of her parents to Alzheimer’s. As she cared for her loved ones, she gained insight into the disease process. She felt treatment for seniors with Alzheimer’s lacked creative and physical stimulation. In 2013, Meyer established Mind’s Eye Poetry and turned her love for poetry into a tool to motivate seniors with Alzheimer’s. Her mission involved using poetry to stimulate the imagination and memory of seniors, help them interact with others, and provide them with a sense of empowerment. 

How Mind’s Eye Poetry Works

Meyer hosts poetry workshops for seniors living with Alzheimer’s. She starts her session with a specific theme, which may involve an animal, color, season, or another topic, then presents physical representations of the theme to the seniors. They are encouraged to touch the related objects and verbalize what the item means to them. Meyer asks questions about the theme and records their responses. During the session, seniors often remember times in their lives that relate to the theme. Using the individual’s or group’s feelings and thoughts, she creates poems. Meyer believes the nonlinear thought processes of seniors with Alzheimer’s makes the possibility of creating beautiful poems a simpler task. 

Though she predominantly lives and works in the Dallas area, Meyer also holds workshops through Skype. She often helps caregivers communicate more effectively with their loved ones. Meyer’s journalism experience enables her to ask the right questions, which leads to unlocking memories and creating a story. She has also expanded her workshops to include the families of seniors with Alzheimer’s. 

Tips for Caregivers

While Meyer understands that not everyone can create poems, she feels family caregivers may still connect with their loved ones through drawing, painting, gardening, songwriting, or other skills. There are many different ways to stave off isolation, spark a memory, and bring joy into the lives of seniors who are living with Alzheimer’s.

Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Denton live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life.

Significance of Creativity 

Neurologist Daniel Potts from the Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Alabama explains that the arts navigate around the neural pathways damaged by Alzheimer’s. By engaging in creative activities, seniors tap into healthier regions of the brain that may not normally be stimulated. These areas are directly linked to the emotional and language centers of the brain.

Caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s can be challenging at times. However, this responsibility does not need to be undertaken alone. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Denton families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home. If you need a break from your caregiving duties, call Home Care Assistance at 972-468-6010 today.