Sep 20, 2018 by David Yeomans
Reading and writing poetry has joined art therapy and music therapy as a beneficial tool in helping seniors with stress reduction and memory enhancement. Recent research has found that poetry may be able to slow the progression or lessen the severity of symptoms. While researchers may not know the exact reason behind the positive impact, poetry has a powerful effect on seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia.
Reading and listening to poetry can help seniors remain calm and reduce stress. The poetry does not need to rhyme, be an old favorite, or even be previously known. There seems to be something to the rhythmic and lyrical composition of poetry that soothes.
Listening to poetry can also help seniors link to memories or experiences. Many seniors grew up with poetry and hearing poems can help them tap into their long-term memories.
Poetry does not need to be read or listened to for it to help. In fact, having seniors write poetry is often even more beneficial than reading somebody else's verse. Writing poetry requires a senior to tap into the creative centers of their brain. This can help them access memories that may otherwise have been lost. Writing poetry also helps seniors express themselves in a meaningful way. Even a few words can help bring a sense of accomplishment and reduce stress.
Seniors do not have to read the poetry themselves and they do not have to go through the whole writing process alone, either. Having a caregiver write their words down allows a senior to focus on being creative instead of getting frustrated with the task of physical writing. A homecare assistance provider is also able to read a senior’s words back; hearing their own created poetry simply adds to the benefits of the process.
Comfort Keepers homecare assistance specializes in dementia and Alzheimer's care. Comfort Keepers caregivers understand the progression of the disease, the challenges of memory care, and the benefits of effective therapy. Caregivers help with daily living activities, personal care, and assist with memory care routines which can include music, art, and poetry.
For more information about the benefits of poetry for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's or the many ways Comfort Keepers homecare assistance can help maximize the independence, safety, and quality of life or your senior loved one, contact a senior home care coordinator today.
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