How Art and Music Bring Happiness to Dementia Care: Part 1

Editor’s note: As caregivers, we can use art and music to connect with those we know who are living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Today we’ll start with an engaging art exercise that I’m sharing with my co-workers at Caring Companion Home Care in Concord, MA. — MAB

How Art and Music: Title

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Art and Music Bring Happiness: This Woman Has Dementia

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Art and Music Bring Happiness: The Solitary Cedar

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Art and Music Bring Happiness: A Radical Question

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Art and Music Bring Happiness: Jump for Joy

Jump for Joy at the Marigold Festival, Winterville GA USA. Photo by David Noah, 2013, via Wikimedia Commons.

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How About Art?

Watercolor Postcards Art Exercise CCHC 2014



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Stay tuned for another post in this Joyous Paradox series, How Art and Music Bring Happiness to Dementia Care.

In the meantime, check out these links!

Art and Music Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease from WebMD

Painting in Twilight: An Artist’s Escape from Alzheimer’s

6 thoughts on “How Art and Music Bring Happiness to Dementia Care: Part 1

  1. To do the postcard activity with a client, how do you introduce the idea of creating an abstract design? Do you start things off by drawing the pencil lines yourself? I assume this will vary from person to person, but curious about how to approach in general.


    1. Yes, I draw the pencil lines myself. Then I start things out by coloring in one section of the design, and then give my client the pen. We take turns. Some people need more cueing than others. Also, I emphasize that it’s an experiment — we’re just going to start out and see what happens. In art, I tell them, everything we do is fine, even if we “make a mistake.” Wow, I’ll say, we could make that a part of the pattern! When I did the exercise with my caregiving co-workers this morning, some people drew abstract designs and others drew objects. One woman drew designs with a heart and a 1960s peace sign. It was really fun.


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