Initiatives that get people with Alzheimer’s involved in art and creative workshops are producing remarkably positive results. Dozens of day care centers, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are using drawing, painting and museum visits as effective therapies, making it possible to improve the quality of life and restore a dialogue between caregivers and families. Scientists have discovered that the parts of the brain related to emotions and creativity are largely spared by the disease. Today, experts recognize the benefits of these new approaches which dramatically alter the way we view the disease.
This film has become one of the best-selling tools in educating people about Alzheimer’s and raising awareness on the importance of non-medical treatment, the implementation of therapeutical activities for people suffering from Alzheimer’s, and how such activities can reawaken a sense of personality, identity and dignity.
Recreating Social Bonds (6′): Using a board game that he invented as well as family videos, Dr. Gene Cohen of George Washington University has succeeded in renewing bonds of communication between people with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones.
Organizing an Outing (9′): How do you go about taking a group to a museum, the circus, a glass factory, the swimming pool, the movies or a restaurant? Who should you contact? Who should accompany the group? What benefits can you expect?
The Memory Garden (11′): Christian Engelbert and his team have established a remarkable specialized residence near Brussels, where residents participate in multiple activities designed to induce vitality, self-confidence and good humor. The results are impressive.
The Importance of Physical Exercise (5′): Dr. Sam Sisodia at the University of Chicago is well on the way to proving the preventive effects of exercise against developing Alzheimer’s. ANd those who develop the disease can benefit on many levels from staying active and maintaining their body.
Art & Care Until the Last Stages (7′): Professer Reisberg and Dr. Kenowsky at New York University describe retrogenesis and the possibilities provided by the arts and other activites to care for patients until the last stages, minimizing suffering.
Organizing a Creative Workshop (7′): How do you organize a creative workshop? What conditions are conducive to success? What are the problems to avoid, the goals to set? Do you need a professional art therapist? We explored different methods for fostering the participants’ creativity in France, Holland, and the US.
The Hearthstone Way (9′): John Zeisel, author of the acclaimed book I’m Still Here, has created assisted-living facilities specially designed for people with Alzheimer’s, taking into account all aspects of the disease and providing an appropriate response to every possible need.