It turns out that the frightening conditions of Alzheimer’s disease — which causes short and long-term memory loss — and frontotemporal disorders (FTD) — which is responsible for loss of language and speech — often have a creative silver lining. While some skills in the brain diminish, other new, expression-related skills are unlocked as the brain reroutes functions to compensate.
Art therapy can bring about a positive reaction because it activates more of the brain than verbal therapy, offering additional coping skills and ideas to solve issues. This site lists art therapy goals and materials to use
For those few of us practicing art therapy in medical settings, we see firsthand the benefits as well as the necessity of creative expression in the sterile hospital locales and we bear witness to incredulous healing journeys of our participants as they battle chronic illness, disease, non-intentional trauma, intentional trauma, accident, and sometimes the end of life.
Foundation for Hospital Art : Barbara Banta has traveled the world installing hospital art: Studies show a direct link between the content of images and the brain’s reaction to pain, stress and anxiety; and researchers are learning more about the precise ways paintings and other works of art help patients and families in the healing process.