When these various creative activities are incorporated into our one-on-one sessions, whether singularly or in combination, individuals experience improved communication, elevation in mood, sensory and intellectual stimulation, and a reconnection to one’s self.
Single cards containing clear and easy to recognize photos are offered for the individual to hold and examine. Questions are posed that may relate to the photo’s contents and to any responses that are given. One card, or several may be used per session, depending on the responses and where they lead. The pictures definitely offer a vehicle to remembering days gone by.
Favorite songs and genres are determined and tailored for the individual. This music is then played and discussed. This activity is best received when the music reflects the person’s history, preferences, and ability to engage. Music is known to be one of the best triggers to long forgotten special times.
Stories are created together between the individual and the session host utilizing photos, one line prompts and discussion. Quite often the stories that evolve are amazingly relevant to the individual’s past, plus many enjoy this creative activity.
One by one, old trinkets and memorabilia are shared with the individual from an intriguing and fun satchel. Each item which conjures up a memory, or creates a positive reaction, is then discussed. These heirlooms from the past often open doors to many happy memories.
Colored pencils, paints and more are used to inspire the sleeping artist. Studies have shown art therapy can enhance communication, brain function and social interaction for dementia patients. It is also known to trigger dormant memories and emotions, and inspire conversations even among individuals who may struggle to express themselves.
Smells are one of the keys to MEMORY: Waves in the brain make scents ‘stick’ to the mind’s inner map helping people recall past events.