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A Best Place to Work
Caregiver Corner: Creativity Can Enrich Lives
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Creative activities can help enrich the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Art provides an outlet for expression. Music stirs memories, emotions and when accompanied by singing, encourages group activity. And dance is a form of movement and exercise, which can reduce anxiety, agitation and restlessness.


Music can help with memory recall and reminiscing and positive changes in mood and emotions. It can also help the caregiver and person with Alzheimer's reduce anxiety and stress.

When you use music to interact with someone with Alzheimer's, be sure to:

  • Identify music that's familiar and enjoyable to the listener.
  • Use live music, tapes or CDs rather than radio programs with commercials.
  • Use music to create the mood you want.
  • Use photographs along with the music to help stir memories.
  • Encourage clapping or dancing with the music.
  • Eliminate competing noises by shutting windows and doors and turning off the television.

For more information on music therapy, visit the American Music Therapy Association's Web site:


Art projects can help open lines of communication and expression, as well as provide a sense of accomplishment.

Consider the following factors when engaging in an art project with someone with Alzheimer’s:

  • Choose projects that only require basic instruction and assistance.
  • Avoid toxic substances and sharp tools.
  • Help the person begin the activity.
  • Provide encouragement.
  • Build conversation into the project by initiating storytelling.
  • Provide enough time to complete the project or the opportunity to complete the project in another session.
  • The artwork is complete when the person says it is.

For information about the Alzheimer’s Association’s art therapy program Memories in the Making, visit


Dancing – and any form of physical exercise such as taking a walk – can help with restlessness and stress reduction as well as help prevent wandering.

When planning dancing or other physical activities, remember:

  • Pay special attention to what the person enjoys
  • Be aware of physical limitations and adjust the activity to ability
  • Help get the activity started
  • Break activities into simple, easy-to-follow steps

For more information about how to plan meaningful activities for your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, visit




Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.