773 E. Haverford Road • Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Schedule a Visit!

Schedule your visit today and
download our brochure.

Proven Holistic Techniques: How They’re Improving the Lives of Those Needing Memory Care

“When we hear the term ‘holistic therapy,’ we often think of treatments that are outside the boundaries of approved medical science,” says Monique Carter, Wellness Director at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr in Bryn Mawr, PA.

“Today, however, experts in the field of memory care, such as those at the Mayo Clinic and the Alzheimer’s Association, say that ‘holistic’ techniques have been found to provide tangible benefits to loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Scientific research has demonstrated that certain holistic treatments aid persons requiring memory care by improving their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

“Specifically, these holistic modalities have been shown to provide loved ones with a sense of calm, comfort and enjoyment by reducing their stress and agitation and creating connections with their caregivers and the outside world. They enrich lives by enabling self-expression and social engagement, while improving self-esteem.

“Because specific holistic techniques truly work, they are now being utilized by leading memory care communities around the country, such as Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr.”

Holistic Techniques Create Engagement and Enrich Loved Ones’ Lives

Researchers explain that for reasons that are not completely clear, holistic techniques seem to create a ‘bridge’ or ‘portal’ that creates connections with the outside world. They appear to ‘unlock’ the individual’s mind and allow self-expression and social engagement that had seemingly been lost during the progression of the disease.

Types of holistic treatments that have proven beneficial include:

  • Music – Researchindicates that music is a useful techniques that can increase cognitive function in those with dementia. Your loved one’s favorite music can provide a pleasant way for them to connect with the outside world, even after verbal communication has become a challenge. Music can reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues that are common in the middle stages of the disease. Even in the later stages of Alzheimer's, a person may be able sing lyrics to a song from their youth.
  • Art – Art proponents believe that art activities enhance the health and well-being of loved ones with dementia in a variety of highly beneficial ways. Art has been shown to improve mood, decrease agitation and outbursts, increase the ability for self-expression and communication, and provide an important sense of accomplishment and purpose.
  • Pets – Pets have been found to have a soothing effect on loved ones with dementia by creating feelings of peace and calm, while also helping to recreate pleasant memories of their own beloved pets. Dogs and other animals have a unique way of connecting with humans that offers a special sense of comfort, relaxation and well-being. Says Karin Winegar, author of “Saved: Rescued Animals and the Lives They Transform,” “The human-animal bond bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the heart and emotions and nurtures us in ways that nothing else can.”
  • Reminiscence – Reminiscing about past events, old friends and fond memories is another important way to keep your loved one pleasantly engaged. Try listening to music from your loved one’s younger days, go through old photo albums together and discuss pleasant memories of happy days gone by.

Says author and Alzheimer’s expert Christine Kennard, “For people with Alzheimer’s disease, encouraging the act of reminiscence can be highly beneficial to their inner self and their interpersonal skills. It is about giving the person with Alzheimer’s a sense of value, importance, belonging, power and peace.”

  • Aromatherapy – This form of therapy usesnatural scents and oils as well as pleasant, familiar smells to minimize anxiety, agitation and aggressive behavior.
  • Exercise: For Both of You – Regular exerciseis good for general health and also provides a way for caregivers and their loved ones toreduce their physical and emotional stress while improving strength and balance. Additionally, recent university research has shown that exercise can reduce and delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Having Fun Together – Continue to do the things your loved one most enjoys for as long as they are able. Take a walk together or spend some time in the garden. Familiar activities are usually pleasurable to someone with Alzheimer’s.

By using these holistic techniques, you can help your loved one to become calmer and more mentally and socially engaged, while enjoying an improved quality of life.

You can learn more by reading the Alzheimer’s Association’s article, Music, Art and Alzheimer's and the Mayo Clinic’s article, Pet therapy: Man's best friend as healer.”

Life-Enriching Amenities

Adds Monique Carter, “Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr is delivered in a small, intimate neighborhood that promotes familiarity, personal interaction and comfort between our residents and caring staff. This unique setting and one-on-one interaction form the foundation of our Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments. Our cozy, homelike community allows our caregivers to learn the unique life stories of each and every resident in our care.

“By building these personal relationships, we are able to deliver personalized attention, forge strong bonds with residents and build lasting trust. This knowledge also enables us to develop programming and activities – including holistic music, art and reminiscence therapies – that enable our residents to continue to enjoy favorite interests and discover new ones.”

We Would Love to Hear from You!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.

Engaging Days. Meaningful Moments. 

Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comforts of home. Our community touches hearts and changes lives.

Helping Families Be “Family” Again 

Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family. 

If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.

If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again. 

For more information, please call Sharon at (484) 380-5400 or contact us online. 

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.