Successful aging in the home should go further than simply meeting basic care needs. It should allow an aging loved one to remain as joyful and active as possible so his or her life is honored and quality experiences are still attainable. Using spirit-centered care is a great way to offer that to a loved one.
What is spirit-centered care? Beyond basic care, it treats each person as an individual by centering around his or her life story. The sole focus is enhancing the person’s life in personal ways. For example, matching an in-home caregiver from a similar lifestyle perspective provides instant conversation topics and a sense of comfort.
Art and music are particularly helpful for persons with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease:
- Art gives persons with Alzheimer’s an opportunity to express themselves and communicate even after some of their standard communication abilities have gone.
- Art therapy can help people with dementia regain some lost muscle function and coordination because it actively engages both hemispheres of the brain.
- Music from their youth can trigger forgotten memories and trigger awakening responses. (The effect is part memory activation, part stress relief, and part cognitive activity.)
Other powerful ways to care for a person’s spirit through music and art include:
- Drawing, watercolors, and oil painting are great for mental stimulation and fine motor skills.
- Nurses report that seniors have less anxiety and apathy after art museum visits.
- Music is valuable for pain reduction, coping with stress, and in stimulating the immune system (Music Making and Wellness Project 1998)
- Music can relieve anxiety, agitation, depression, and lonliness. (CoroHealth Music First 2010 study showed agitation and depression dropped by up to 54%.)
For more information on spirit-centered caregiving, contact Live Free Home Health Care. Live Free Home Health Care care plans encompass the whole person, including the mind and spirit, for an unparalleled care experience that not only comforts but uplifts. Contact us at 603-217-0149 for a personal in-home care assessment. Visit our website here to learn more about our family-owned agency and click here for more activities for those living with Alzheimer’s disease.