Enhancing life with Alzheimer's : how the arts and art-making benefit persons with Alzheimer's Disease
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The purpose of this research was to determine if incorporating individualized arts and art-making activities into the caregiving of persons with Alzheimer's Disease would help to improve their overall quality of life. To answer this question, I conducted an eight-week qualitative case study of two persons with Alzheimer's Disease. I visited the patients and their caregivers in their homes, and facilitated the incorporation of arts and art-making activities into their caregiving. These activities included painting with watercolors and acrylic paints, sewing, dancing, listening to music, collage, craftwork, storytelling, and sharing past art experiences. As a result of participating in this case study, the two persons with Alzheimer's Disease experienced increased confidence and self-esteem, a positive means of communication and social engagement, an opportunity to be validated and valued as persons with a rich life history and valuable remaining talents, and they developed new physical and mental abilities.