Science is continually making strides in disease treatment and therapies. While drugs and medical procedures are still the primary form of treatment, researchers are finding holistic, non-invasive treatments that help patients deal with their disease, or even prevent and cure it.
One such advance has been in the field of Alzheimer’s therapies.
At this time, there are no therapies to prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s, but there are some that can slow symptom progression.
Creative Alzheimer’s Therapies – Are They Really Beneficial?
A recent therapy that’s proven successful in slowing symptoms is the utilization of art and music by Alzheimer’s patients.
Why are music and art so beneficial?
1. There Are No Side Effects
One of the main reasons people are excited about creative therapy is that patients don’t experience adverse side effects. The side effects of drugs can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life, but typically, the only “side effect” of art and music is joy.
2. Art and Music Are a Way for Patients to Communicate
When Alzheimer’s and dementia set in, communication becomes increasingly difficult for the patient. They can’t find the words they need, which is so frustrating for them.
Fortunately, music and art are wonderful communicative expressions. What the patient produces helps their family members and caretakers see/hear/feel what the patient is thinking and feeling.
3. Patients Experience a Sense of Accomplishment
Alzheimer’s can make patients feel helpless and sometimes even useless. Yet, when they have the opportunity to create something beautiful through art or music, they experience a sense of accomplishment that brings joy and fulfillment to their life.
4. Creative Activities Stimulate the Brain
Exercise is just as important for the brain as it is for the body. Participating in creative activities engages parts of the brain that may not be affected by the disease.
5. Some Memories Can Be Brought Back
Alzheimer’s is the thief of memories. Music, though, can stimulate the memory center of the brain and help patients recall certain times or events in their life.
6. Stress and Pain Management
Losing memories causes a lot of anxiety. Thankfully, when activated, the creative part of the brain can help reduce pain or stress.
The Latest Strides in Alzheimer’s Care Shows How Well Alternatives Are Working
When it comes to treating any kind of disease or ailment, most people would like to treat them without drugs or medical procedures if at all possible.
The fact that the medical community is trying holistic and creative therapies for Alzheimer’s – like art and music – is incredibly refreshing.
Knowing that there are alternatives that help, that don’t result in awful side-effects that reduce a person’s quality of life is thrilling.
It will be interesting to see what other therapies result from the success of the Alzheimer’s art and music therapies. And hopefully someday soon, Alzheimer’s will not only be treatable, but preventable.
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