Expressive Arts Therapy Improves Quality of Life in Older Adulthood with Alzheimer’s Dementia Disease
MetadataShow full item record
With the expansion of the population of older adulthood, increasing from 55 million Americans age 65 and older to 88 million by 2015 (Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures, 2019). Research of preventative strategies and slowing the process of cognitive decline in aging is important. Especially since aging and cognitive-impairment diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia are uncurable it is even more beneficial to be informed on the objectives of how to improve quality of life in older adulthood. Recent research shows the positive effects of incorporating expressive arts therapies into senior living communities that have produced results of slowing the process of cognitive decline and improving overall well-being in aging individuals. Positive psychology brings attention to the benefits of cultivating a flow cognitive state which is seen as the optimal mindset when equilibrium of a person’s challenge and skill levels are met during activities which motivate creativity. Expressive art therapies generate high levels of creativity, performance, and pleasure which lead to the possibility of encompassing flow. This literature review acknowledges how the involvement of expressive therapies gives potential for improving quality of life for individuals specifically struggling with aging and Alzheimer’s or dementia disease. Following this literature review, a proposed study will examine which art therapy programs enhance quality of life by increasing subjective happiness in older adulthood, depending on the level of cognitive functioning of individuals. In all, everyone should have the resources to establish a happy and fulfilling life for themselves even in older adulthood.