Sunday 26 June 2016

Crafty Containers - Art Therapy for those with Alzheimer's

'Crafty Containers' is my second post ... please also have a look at my first post - 'Making Paper Flowers' 

Art Therapy has been proved to stimulate the brain, stir memories and give those with Alzheimer's a much better quality of life
Whether they are actually creating the art themselves or simply viewing it, art and crafts can bring joy to those with memory problems. 

I started introducing Arts & Crafts into my mum’s daily routine over two years ago. More than something to keep her occupied, our craft projects give her something to look forward to each day, reduce her agitation and keep her happy and content.

As well as making the beautiful crepe paper flowers that I shared in my first blog, we have many other creative endeavours! 
One of her favourite hobbies is covering boxes and containers … anything from margarine tubs to Pringles tubes, tea caddies & chocolate boxes!

Crafty Containers

Although complicated shapes are no longer easy for her to cover without help, she still manages boxes and tubes really well.
My mum has always loved pretty things … flowers and butterflies never fail to bring a smile to her face! 
I choose floral wrapping paper that I know she will love to work with.
We measure the container we wish to cover - either drawing round the shape or wrapping the pretty paper around it - marking the height / width with a pencil.
We use good quality gift wrap as this doesn't rip easily and PVA glue to stick the paper to the container.
Once the container is covered, my mum will decorate it with self-adhesive jewels for a bit of special sparkle :)

My mum's "crafty containers" keep her hands busy and stop her fidgetingMeasuring and cutting keeps her mind active.
She is at her happiest in our daily craft sessions!
I play her favourite 1940's / 50's music in the background and she sings along relaxed and happy ... loving every minute of creativity!

For more photos and ideas please visit my facebook page
LIKE the page to keep up to date with all our projects!

Saturday 11 June 2016

Making Paper Flowers - Art Therapy for those with Alzheimer's

Art Therapy is a powerful tool for treating Alzheimer’s disease. Arts & Crafts won’t cure the illness, but they can stimulate the brain in a new direction.
Research has found that art allows Alzheimer’s patients to bypass languageit can trigger dormant memories and encourage conversation.
It has been proved that art can awaken patients in cognitive decline as well as lessen aggressive behaviour
Art Therapy has been found in many cases to lessen symptoms, increase function and improve quality of life.

By introducing Arts & Crafts into our daily routine I have found that my mum is much happier and less agitated.
Crafts have given her back a way of expressing herself and provide her with a real sense of accomplishment.
Making Paprer Flowers - Art Therapy for Alzheimer's

Making paper flowers is one of my mum's favourite hobbies. As her Alzheimer's progresses she is finding it difficult to do complex tasks on her own but she is still able to cut out shapes using a template and follow an example.
I provide a template for petals and leaves and she will happily sit for hours cutting out the pretty, brightly coloured shapes. She particularly enjoys covering wooden kebab skewars with long strips of green crepe paper to create the stems!
Together we glue the stamens and petals to the stems and once she's done two or three with me, she's able to carry on by herself!
She's so proud of her beautiful flowers ... and so am I!!

Art Therapy for Alzheimer's
Somehow when my mum is immersed in her crafts she has real moments of clarity and her artistic flair re-emerges which is wonderful to see.
Art Therapy for Alzheimer's
My mum and I both find making paper flowers a wonderful therapy! These flowers make her feel valued and useful again
And for me, I can relax and enjoy spending time with her being creative ... its almost like the craft-time we spent before the Alzheimer's took hold.

Creating something beautiful that we can give to others brings us so much joy ... the Doctor's surgery, Memory Clinic, friend's houses are all brightened up with pretty flowers and our home is filled with ever-lasting happy memories of time spent together! 
Art Therapy for Alzheimer's

How to make a crepe paper flower

We find the premium quality crepe is best as it is strong so doesn't rip easily & can be stretched and curled for the petals and leaves.

The happiness that art and crafts bring can make all the difference in the life of a loved one living with Dementia.I hope my blog will be found by someone who finds it helpful and I would welcome any comments or other creative ideas to try!