Dementia is a devastating, progressive illness that is on the rise and affects each of us. Caring for someone with dementia takes patience and passion, as it can be challenging. However, it can also be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience to know that you are making a difference by offering warmth and care to someone who is losing/has lost the ability to care for themselves. National Dementia Carer Day is dedicated to the many amazing caregivers, healthcare professionals (including creative arts therapists), family members and friends involved in caring for these individuals.
Among the creative arts therapy modalities, dance/movement therapy (DMT) with this population offers the opportunity for individuals to express themselves, regardless of functional level. Moreover, DMT engages the sensory systems and stimulates the physical, emotional and cognitive areas of functioning. DMT is just one of the many career options available for those interested in creatively caring for people experiencing dementia.
It can also be used as a wonderful outlet for caregivers! As a caregiver, it is important to take the time to nourish yourself and to surround yourself with support. Dementia courses, specialty trainings and support groups (even over the phone or online) are offered through various schools and websites, as well as healthcare and social service organizations. Now is the time to make a difference and to connect with others who can help!
- Alzheimer’s Association
- Together In This– online caregiver resources
- Deborah Shouse– writer, speaker, editor and dementia advocate
- National Alliance for Caregiving