Weve all heard of the common forms of therapy, including physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and therapy for behavioral and mental health. But did you know there are many other therapeutic approaches available for seniors to engage in to improve their physical and mental health?From art and music to gardening and pets, many varieties of therapy exist that take a more holistic approach to seniors health and wellness. These alternatives can be a supplement to standard therapies, or they can be done as a standalone practice. Either way, alternative therapies can be a powerful tool for enriching the lives of seniors. Lets explore five of the best alternative therapies for seniors in Florida.1. Art TherapyArt therapy for seniors is based on the notion that being artistic and creative helps promote healing, self-expression, and mental well-being. Art therapy is led by trained experts in both art and psychology. The focus of this type of therapy is not on artistic abilities or final products, but instead on the process of being creative and expressing oneself.Some techniques commonly used in art therapy include painting, drawing, doodling, coloring, sculpting, and photography.Art therapy is intended for people of all ages and abilities. It is often utilized in settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, senior centers, assisted living, and memory care communities. Art therapy is highly beneficial for seniors as it helps keep memory sharp, reduces stress, promotes communication and self-expression, improves mood, and reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. So channel your inner Picasso and start reaping the many benefits of art therapy!2. Music TherapyMusic therapy for seniors is similar to art therapy, but it instead uses the power of music to enhance mental wellness and emotional health. It is commonly used for seniors to encourage socialization, reduce stress, and promote self-expression. Music therapy utilizes four main techniques: receptive, re-creation, improvisation, and composition/songwriting. During receptive music therapy, the therapist plays music and in response, the senior is free to express themselves through dancing, writing, or with words. Re-creation music therapy involves various musical activities such as singing songs, playing instruments, and doing rhythmic exercises. Improvisation therapy involves the senior creating simple music with their voice, body percussion, or instruments. Finally, during composition/songwriting therapy, the senior is able to create their own music or lyrics.All of these techniques help seniors express their emotions, feel a sense of purpose and achievement, improve their cognitive functioning, feel joy and nostalgia, and foster social interaction and community involvement. After all, who doesnt love a good jam session?3. Pet TherapyOne of the most beloved forms of alternative therapy is pet therapy. This type of therapeutic intervention uses animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, and more to improve seniors physical and mental health.Animals involved in pet therapy are thoroughly trained to be well-socialized and interact with seniors, especially those who may have limited mobility.The three main types of pet therapy are ownership therapy, visitation therapy, and animal assisted therapy (AAT). With ownership therapy, the senior actually owns the pet. This option is best for seniors who are active, mobile, and able to successfully care for a pet. Visitation therapy, the most common type of pet therapy, involves animals coming to visit seniors, either in their homes or senior living communities. Visitation therapy is what most people picture when they think of pet therapy.Finally, animal assisted therapy is an intensive form of therapy for seniors who need extreme rehabilitation. Oftentimes this type of therapy involves highly sensitive animals like horses and dolphins to improve and practice physical skills. Pet therapy has been proven to be extremely beneficial for seniors. Pet therapy requires seniors to increase their mobility and physical activity by walking or playing with the pet. It also promotes mental activity, increases communication, reduces loneliness, encourages affection, decreases stress, and lowers blood pressure. Not to mention, therapy pets bring love and joy to everyone they meet.The power of pets is incredible!4. Aquatic TherapyAquatic therapy, also known as hydrotherapy or aquatherapy, is a technique that has been used for thousands of years, including for seniors. It involves the senior performing certain physical stretches and exercises in temperature-controlled water for physical rehabilitation, relaxation, and fitness. The goal of aquatic therapy for seniors is muscle relaxation, increased strength, improved joint motion, and pain reduction. Aquatic therapy is especially beneficial for seniors, as it puts less pressure on joints, reduces inflammation, and provides a safer environment to practice balance, mobility, and strength exercises. Studies have shown that water-based exercises can have a positive impact on both physical and mental health, and can also help people improve their exercise habits.Some techniques used in aquatic therapy include underwater walking and stair training, strength training with water weights, stretching with flotation belts, and more. Aquatic therapy can be done in both indoor and outdoor pools. Seniors in Florida have the unique advantage of having access to outdoor pools year-round, making aquatic therapy more accessible. 5. Horticultural TherapyHorticultural therapy, sometimes known as gardening therapy, is the use of gardening, plants, and plant-based activities for the purpose of healing and rehabilitation. This practice has been used for thousands of years to improve peoples physical, mental, and cognitive health, and has gotten more popular and widely recognized in more recent years.Horticultural therapy is often used with seniors as it is accessible for those with limited mobility. Research has shown that working with plants promotes relaxation, heightens senses, improves physical health, and increases cognitive awareness. For seniors in particular, gardening is also an opportunity to socialize with others, work toward a common goal, feel a sense of purpose, increase self-esteem, be engaged in the community, decrease stress, and spend time outdoors. Some activities used in horticultural therapy include tending to gardens, sowing seeds, drying herbs, harvesting produce, potting plants, creating floral arrangements, and many more.Like with aquatic therapy, Florida seniors are at an advantage by having nice weather year-round, allowing them to be outside and work in gardens no matter the season. So bring your green thumb and get gardening!How to find alternative therapy for seniorsAs you can see, there are many options available for Florida seniors to engage in alternative therapies to improve their health and wellness. But how can you find these opportunities?One of the best ways to access alternative therapies is through assisted living communities. These communities often have regular therapists on rotation who specialize in alternative approaches such as pet therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and more. If you are interested in finding a senior living community in Florida that offers a specific type of therapy, reach out to Florida Senior Consulting!Our expert senior advisors will find you a community that meets all your needs and interests, whether it be regular pet therapy, water aerobics classes, gardening clubs, art classes, or other offerings!Best of all, we offer these services at no cost to you or your family.So give us a call at (800) 969-7176 or visit FloridaSeniorConsulting.com to get started finding the perfect community for you. Senior living on your terms. The choice should be yours.
To Learn more about Western Slope Memory Care,CLICK HERE.We know that brain health and heart health are closely connected. Whats good for the heart is good for the brain. One way to reduce anxiety and care for your heart during American Heart Month is to turn on your favorite tunes! According to a seven-year study from University of Belgrade School of Medicine in Serbia, musicparticularly music you find soothingmay help reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and stress. The study followed 350 patients following a heart attack. The patients were all experiencing a type of post-heart attack chest pain called post-infarction angina. This chest pain can cause stress, and stress exacerbates any existing cardiovascular conditions. Half the patients got standard care following their heart attack, and the other half got music therapy in addition to standard care.Music therapy makes for easy medicine. Its simple to implement and practically free. Patients were asked to listen to a selection of soothing music while seated with their eyes closed for 30 minutes a day. After following these patients for seven years, researchers found that the music therapy patients had reduced symptoms of stress, angina, anxiety, and subsequent heart attacks. The music therapy patients had reduced anxiety symptoms by one third. So, this American Heart Month, try healing your heart with the magic of music!Western Slope Memory Care is proud of how we intergrate music into our Moments Program. Learn more about how our expert staff offers research-based opportunities for sensory stimulation focusing on sight, smell, temperature, touch, and hearing, to create more meaningful communication with our residents
More than55 million people worldwide are living with dementia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), making it the seventh leading cause of death and a major contributor to disability. It can be devastating for a loved one to receive a dementia diagnosis due to the psychological, physical, economic, and social impacts of this disease.How is your family managing the new lifestyle with a loved one who is experiencing cognitive decline? As the person loses their ability to process thought, this condition starts to affect orientation, thinking, memory, comprehension, language, learning capacity, and judgment. As a result, someone living with dementia often experiences problems with emotional control, mood, motivation, and behavior.Even though there is no cure for cognitive decline, the good news is that doctors are finding ways to slow the progression of this disease. Specific life enrichment activities for assisted living are helpful to stimulate cognition and help a person maintain the best quality of life despite their diagnosis.Life Enrichment Activities and Lifestyle Factors to Slow Cognitive DeclineA persons environment and daily routines play an essential role in minimizing the impact of cognitive decline. Those living with dementia need progressive care: minimal care is required in the beginning, but ongoing support is necessary as the disease progresses.Families can see why wellness programs are important through all stages of the disease: from diagnosis through transitions and changes in lifestyle and living conditions. However, it can be frightening for both those living with dementia and their family members and an emotionally charged situation as you navigate tough decisions relating to the persons care and wellbeing.The good news is that families dont need to come up with assisted living life enrichment activities on their own. Instead, a better idea is to explore local wellness programs for seniors with integrated cognitive programs. Life Enrichment Activities for those living with dementia can be engaging and uplifting. We strive to find the right activity for each individual in our care.Holistic Approach: Wellness Programs for SeniorsDementia care is available in the home, although many families eventually choose an assisted living community, so those living with dementia receive optimal support in their time of need. Caregivers find it challenging to balance wellness programs and work-life balance, which is why its crucial to find a provider to help with assisted living daily life enrichment programs for loved ones.A holistic approach utilizes multiple tools to help those living with dementia with early, mid-stage, or advanced dementia. For example, these tools are helpful when those living with dementia exhibits sundowning syndrome symptoms. Looking for a Sundowning Syndrome Definition? Sundowning in those living with dementia is known as late-day confusion that extends into the night. Look up the sundowning medical definition to see how those living with dementia experience increased frustration, confusion, and agitation during this time of day.When we seesundowning symptoms in dementia, or other worsening signs of cognitive decline, these are some of the tools and assisted living daily enrichment activities that can be used for support and cognitive stimulation:Music Therapy in ElderlyThere are many uses of music for cognitive support, including music therapy for concentration and cognitive stimulation. In fact, some holistic providers suggest music therapy for health and wellness and specific conditions including music therapy for hypertension. Music can improve the quality of life for people with dementia by reducing anxiety and aggression, especially when they participate by singing along with the music.What Aromatherapy Is Best for Cognitive DeclineWhen those living with dementia are experiencing intense moments with agitation, aggression, and other psychotic symptoms, aromatherapy can be a powerful tool for calming and soothing. Aromatherapy for cognitive decline is a complementary treatment to use with other lifestyle adjustments. Lavender, jasmine, chamomile, and bergamot are all calming and citrus scents like grapefruit, lemon and lime are invigorating and mentally stimulating.The Role Environmental Factors Play In Sundowning Syndrome SymptomsWhen someone living with dementia gets upset, their environment plays a vital role in minimizing symptoms of agitation and frustration. For example, if the person is prone to sundowning syndrome symptoms, then make sure to create a quiet, peaceful environment during the early evening hours: reading, a slow walk around the neighborhood, soothing music in the background, and the persons favorite activity or snack.Full-Service Support for Those Living with Dementia and Cognitive DeclineCadence Connections is a specialized program for those living with dementia, providing full-service solutions to support their physical, mental, and emotional health. Even mild cognitive impairment(MCI) can disrupt a persons lifestyle and take a toll on the family. As cognitive decline continues, its essential to have access to ongoing support from a dedicated memory care team.This personalized treatment program includes options for assisted living and independent living with a variety of assisted living daily enrichment activities designed specifically for memory care needs. Call usat your convenience to schedule a tour of our Cadence Living Communities.