Art Therapy for Seniors with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias

Art therapy is an incredible resource for improving the quality of life to those dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementias. Caregivers can help seniors re-engage with their surroundings and improve their quality of life as the disease progresses.

Aspen Senior Center Art

When words fail, Aspen Senior Center’s daily art classes have shown the staff how a work of art can tell a story, express emotion, or recreate a memory for our clients in a way nothing else does.   

Introducing a client with dementia to their favorite artist, an interesting art piece, or a new art style could spark different emotions, and help them to feel more creative and involved with their surroundings. Creativity, sensory stimulation, and socialization also occur during this time.

“We do art first thing in the morning. Both ladies and men seem to wake up slowly and this seems to help them make the transition from home to the Center by participating in the same activity daily.”

-Julie, Aspen Senior Center’s Activites Director

Recently a client told Julie, Aspen Senior Center’s Activities Director, of his memories of hiking in the mountains and discovering the most beautiful flowers. As he drew the flowers his face was transformed and he reminisced about his childhood days.

“Over the years I have seen art be an ideal medium for our clients to express themselves,” says Julie. “As they progress with dementia they transition from using a variety of colors to one color. Art can also reflect the mood they are in. They feel satisfaction and their self-confidence improves as they are involved in this creative process.” The Center provides colored pencils, pastels, and paints and doesn’t use crayons or mediums that are child-like.

Recently the seniors at Aspen Senior Center painted enlarged flowers after learning more about the art style of American artist, Georgia O’Keefe

According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, when used appropriately, music and art can:

  • Alter mood
  • Manage self-induced agitation
  • Stimulate positive interactions
  • Encourage cognitive function, and
  • Coordinate motor movements

 Aspen Senior Center is an adult day care program for seniors with some memory loss. The center specializes in providing music, art projects, sit’n’dance and other fun activities along with a nutritious meal and snacks. The great thing about this is they get to participate with other seniors. Socializing with others is a great way to stay mentally active, stimulate brain cells and have fun while doing it.

To find out more about our program call the Aspen Senior Center at 801-607-2300.


Art Therapy for Seniors with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias