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Group Art Therapy for Elderly with Dementia

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Rachel Trokey

on 14 November 2012

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Transcript of Group Art Therapy for Elderly with Dementia

By Rachel Trokey Group Art Therapy for Elderly with Dementia American Psychiatric Association (2000) defined dementia as a gradual and continuing cognitive decline that is manifested in memory impairment, aphasia, apraxia, agnosia, and/or an inability to plan, organize, sequence, or abstract information
Alzheimer's Disease (one specific type of dementia among many) effects 4 million people in the U.S.
projected that 9 million people will have Alzheimer's by 2025
impaired memory, language, and reasoning
depression, anxiety, agitation, suspiciousness, wondering, delusions, hallucinations, and personality changes (2002, Bober, McLellan, McBee, & Westreich) Sense of Self difficulty in preserving a sense of personal identity and self-esteem
interpersonal relationships are hard to maintain
social isolation and compromised social networks (Rusted, Sheppard, & Waller)
continue to have feelings, yet it is hard for them to communicate these verbally
brain stores memory of feelings differently than facts (Bober, McLellan, McBee, & Westreich) Group Art Therapy Rusted (2006) noted that art therapy has a positive impact on emotional adaptation, sociability, cognitive functioning, and speech skills for people with dementia
Rusted conducted a multi-centre randomized control group trial on the use of art therapy for people with dementia (*using a group-interactive, psychodynamic approach described by Waller*), which provided evidence of positive mood changes, and sociability
An increase in recognition between members of the group outside of sessions occurred and better person-to-person communication between clients and carers took place
Rusted also found that art therapy groups produced more benefits than recreational activities (which did not include any art or craft activities) Group Art Therapy Bober (2002) employed visual, tactile, olfactory, and audio stimulation for people with dementia to help find a voice for their feelings
gave group different universal topics at each session, such as: family, work, holidays, and seasons and used art as the vehicle for the expression of emotions
members of the group were encouraged to identify their feelings using a visual recognition scale and verbal cues before and after the group
an increase in the number of verbal exchanges between residents (in and out of sessions), positive reminiscing, and expression of feelings was noted Things to Keep in Mind Reminiscence - helps elderly express themselves, affirm self-image, find intimacy with others, alleviate crisis and loneliness, and work towards Erikson's final developmental stage of ego integrity versus despair
"Present" focus - helps orient individuals
Single-Session - conceptualize groups as time-limited because moderately to severely demented individuals will not remember sessions week to week (introduce self, orient to length of time, and explain group and activity)
Highly Structured Groups - reduces anxiety by providing organization, less insight-oriented, but also provide choices
Co - Leaders - creates more opportunities for member support and enhanced group management Materials / Directives collage - aids in process of reminisce, use precut images, helps deepen relationship with self, artwork, and others, use other various material as well
circle, square, wavy line, or house - providing this stimulus and structure creates a more tangible starting point (Stallings)
round robin - passing artwork around for others to add on to creates stronger relational interactions
Painting - brushes or sponges
Guided Imagery
Coloring in pre-made drawings
Validating Feelings and Orientation
Directing and Redirecting
Others... Elderly with Dementia Artistic Implications recognizable forms become harder to produce and may disappear from drawings as disease progresses
drawings become simplified, rotated, portions may be omitted, images may overlap or be fragmented, and short sketchy lines may be used
may mistake art materials for food, may place glue on the wrong side of the paper, or may have difficulty cutting or adding water to watercolor paints (Stallings, 2010)
creativity may increase with other types of dementia while other aspects of the self, such as speech decline
left-side neglect - greater number of details on the right side of the canvas (impairment in visual-constructive abilities)(Safer, 2011) References Bober, S. J., McLellan, E., McBee, L., & Westreich, L. (2002). The feelings art group: A vehicle for personal expression in skilled nursing home residents with dementia. Journal of Social Work in Long-Term Care, 1(4), 73. Safar, L. T., & Press, D. Z. (2011). Art and the brain: Effects of dementia on art production in art therapy. Art Therapy, 28(3), 96-103. Stallings, J. W. (2010). Collage as a therapeutic modality for reminiscence in patients with dementia. Art Therapy, 27(3), 136-140.

QUESTIONS????? Rusted, J., Sheppard, L., & Waller, D. (2006). A multi-centre randomized control group trial on the use of art therapy for older people with dementia. Group Analysis, 39(4), 517-536. doi: 10.1177/0533316406071447
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