Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Creativity in Alzheimer's Disease

I have found that creativity is not affected by deficits in memory or cognition. In my classes I have found that after the participants become aware and focused they can exhibit remarkable creativity. It happens after he or she has participated in the exercise program for around thirty minutes or so. Their attention is drawn to the music and they are instructed to “Listen to the music and let it guide you anyway you like” The exercise is facilitated with a scarf, ribbon or balloon. Take Lee, who I’d say is middle to late stage AD. He is amicable and tries but has very poor cognition. The gentleman next to him keeps chiding him which is not good for Lee’s self esteem. I began by placing my hands over his, holding the large balloon. As we began to move with the music and I saw that he understood I backed away asking him to continue. The transformation was astonishing. With a little encouragement he continued to interpret the music with amazing creativity. At the end I told how wonderfully he had done. It was a compliment he badly needed!

I’d be interested to know what experiences you have had regarding creativity with this population.


alzheimersspeaks said...

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Angus said...

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California in Home Health Care Agency


Welcome to my blog where I will share my thoughts, ideas and experiences with the Benvolent Ballet Fall Prevention program. For those who are not familiar with the program it is an approach to exercise especially designed for those with physical and or cognitive challenges including the frial elderly. Inspired by classical ballet's music and concepts it becomes not only an exercise class but an altogether enriching experience.

Incorporated into this program is a motivational approach using what may be called 'empathic engagement' . One day training seminars for healthcare staff have been held throughout the US. I have personally facilitated the program in assisted living, skilled nursing facilities and independent living communities