If you’re searching for a fun activity that will benefit your loved one, art therapy might be it. Studies have found that seniors who do art have fewer doctor’s visits, better physical health, and require less medication. This includes painting, pottery, games, puzzles, coloring projects, scrapbooking, etc. Many therapists prescribe art therapy to help cope with loss, grief, or other emotions. Here are some more of the top benefits of art therapy for seniors.
- Improved Memory
People with memory loss typically have trouble communicating. Of course, we know memories will fade, but being able to speak and write can also disappear. With art therapy, past cognitive skills are accessed to draw out self-expression, emotional release, and creativity. And it doesn’t have to just be painting. Activities like going to the museum and sculpting are also valuable because the mind to focuses on one object at a time.
- Reduced Pain
Many seniors are impacted by arthritis, hypertension, and other pain. Art therapy is naturally relaxing and reduces stiffness & inflammation. Using body parts like the arms and fingers for art promotes blood flow. By using small, purposeful movements, they benefit from increased coordination and can more easily ignore their pain since they’re focused on their art. If there is no focus on the pain, then stress levels also come down. We have more than 6,000 thoughts a day, and not all are positive. When engaged in an art activity we get ‘in the zone and can enjoy a meditative experience. This sense of well-being greatly reduces anxiety and stress in seniors.
- Reduced Depression
Seniors struggling with health, memory, or mobility difficulties commonly experience depression. Creating art reduces the symptoms of depression because it stimulates the mind. Even seniors who have trouble speaking can express their thoughts and feelings through art. Getting involved in art projects makes it easier to connect with others. Many people with Dementia find it difficult to express themselves but with art, they have a visual means of communication. Just a few minutes of socialization reduces the loneliness that is common in the twilight years.
Art therapy can be very rewarding for seniors. It can promote healthy and positive feelings, enhance physical ability, and have a calming effect. Through the fun of creating, seniors will enjoy a better quality of life. Given the benefits, it is a good idea to help the senior in your life sign up for an art therapy session or an art class or do art at home to start exploring their creative side!
If you’d like to learn more or are considering a nursing home or assisted living for a loved one in northern NJ, The Little Nursing Home of Montclair offers a cozy and calm atmosphere with the comforts of home. Call or email us for more info to schedule a tour.