Mind’s Eye Poetry is a workshop founded by Molly Middleton Meyer who recognized the importance of mental stimulation for seniors with dementia. At first glance, it is easy to wonder how seniors with dementia could possibly participate in an activity that relies heavily on memory and language skills. However, poetry can offer several benefits to older adults with dementia.
The Inspiration for the Workshop
Sometimes, personal tragedy is necessary for healing. Meyer has a unique understanding of how to help seniors with dementia that comes from her experience of losing both parents to Alzheimer’s disease. After helping her parents, she noticed dementia care still focuses heavily on using medications to treat the symptoms. Although medications can be effective, Meyer felt that providing opportunities for creative expression could also help seniors retain their memories.
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Offering Theme-Based Collaboration
Each poetry workshop session is based on a theme that is used to create open-ended questions. Through these questions, seniors with dementia are often able to access memories that might otherwise be forgotten. Seniors who are nervous about attending social events may feel comfortable once they are in a supportive environment filled with people who understand their unique circumstances.
Giving Back Beyond the Workshop
As the workshops have shown success in helping Dallas seniors with dementia retain their abilities, Meyer has begun to expand the poetry collaboration outside the city. She now offers online workshops that allow people from all over the world to participate. She also works with caregivers to help them learn how to enjoy poetry experiences with their loved ones who might not be able to participate in group settings. Engaging seniors with dementia using the rhythm and vocabulary of poetry can enhance relationships between caregivers and their loved ones.
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Providing a Sense of Empowerment
Many seniors have longed their entire lives to write poems. During the workshop, they have a hand in creating multiple poems. The sense of accomplishment seniors feel empowers them to reach for higher goals and continue working toward retaining their skills. Many of the resulting works are poetic and beautiful, and sharing them with others gives seniors a feeling of pride in their creative abilities. Engaging in creative activities 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. Summit, New Jersey, live-in home 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. If your loved one needs assistance with daily activities, call Home Care Assistance at 908.450.9400 today.