How Mind’s Eye Poetry Helps Aging Adults Manage Dementia

By Milagros Castillo, 9:00 am on

Research has shown that keeping older adults cognitively engaged helps them retain their mental abilities for longer. Recently, Molly Middleton Meyer has taken this understanding to a new level by offering seniors the opportunity to participate in a poetry workshop called Mind’s Eye Poetry. In this workshop, seniors with dementia collaborate on creative works while enjoying the following benefits.

Draw Out Memories

During the workshop, Meyer helps seniors get started on making poetry by asking open-ended questions. These poetry prompts refer to a wide range of topics, and each one is designed to encourage seniors to share their ideas. From asking about a childhood memory to asking to describe their favorite activities, the questions provide a supportive environment in which seniors can recall memories. Sometimes another senior’s contribution prompts a memory. Engaging in creative activities such as poetry can help seniors manage the symptoms of dementia, retain their memories, and enjoy a higher quality of life.

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Retain Language Skills

Dementia can slowly impair a senior’s ability to communicate effectively. While seniors occasionally forget a name or face difficulty finding a word, this happens more frequently with those who have dementia. Collaborating in a poetry workshop allows seniors to gain more exposure to extensive vocabulary and language patterns that help them communicate better.

Enjoy a Sense of Accomplishment

Completing a poem can be a challenging task for people who doubt their creative skills. Since Mind’s Eye Poetry is based on a collaborative structure, seniors with dementia feel more comfortable taking risks and putting their ideas out there for others to share. After the workshop is over, seniors have three or four poems they can say they have contributed to, which gives them a sense of pride.

Poetry workshops provide the opportunity for seniors to socialize. However, seniors who prefer staying at home can also enjoy the benefits of socialization with the help of professional caregivers. For families living in Coral Gables, Florida, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Showcase Creative Abilities

Meyer has found there is something about dementia that inspires creativity among the seniors who visit the workshop. While no one knows why, it is believed it could be because people with dementia are able to think in a less linear fashion than younger adults. Without the restrictions many people place on their thought processes, seniors can let their imaginations take over so they can create beautiful poetry. Engaging in creative tasks can also help seniors delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Coral Gables, Florida, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. For high-quality senior home care services, families choose Home Care Assistance. Call us at 1 (305) 964-5636 to schedule a free in-home consultation.