As people become older, it is only normal for their interests and hobbies to change. What an individual once enjoyed as a child is likely to differ compared to what they enjoy as a young adult. However, for seniors, the activities they fill their time with can differ not only because of changes in interests, but also based on what is suitable for their lifestyle and safety.
Art, however, is one activity that can help fill elderly individuals’ time. While the concept of art naturally causes one to think of creativity and expression, art does not need to be all about creating the best-looking piece. Art can also be a therapeutic activity with numerous benefits.
Art therapy is a therapeutic technique in which people use art to address mental and physical stresses. While the concept makes it sound as though the activity is something done solely with the supervision of a professional art therapist, art therapy for seniors can be an informal activity done in structured art classes or even just in one’s own at home.
Continue reading to learn more about the different benefits of art therapy for seniors.
1. It’s a Creative Outlet
Whether a person considers themselves to be a creative individual or not, everyone needs a way to express themselves. For seniors, art therapy is one way to do just that. So, no matter if the creation turns out to be a masterpiece, art therapy can still prove to be especially beneficial for seniors. It provides elderly individuals with the opportunity to create something of their own and express their thoughts and emotions.
Within the form of therapy that doubles as an act of creation, seniors can also feel a sense of pride and accomplishment over their work.
2. Art Therapy Can Improve Cognitive Functions
When elderly individuals engage in art therapy, it provides brain stimulation. While it may not provide the same kind of mental exercise as a word puzzle might, creating art and learning new forms of it can improve cognitive functions that may not have been as active as of late.
3. It Can Help Maintain Physicality
Art isn’t the most movement-intensive activity, but it often involves a decent amount of hand movement. Whether seniors are painting, drawing, coloring, or creating art in another way, they utilize hand and finger movements. This can help elderly individuals maintain and improve that sense and range of movement.
4. Art Can Better a Senior’s Mood
Creating art has a relaxing effect on people, so seniors can find art therapy to be a good activity to turn to when their mood isn’t necessarily a positive one. Seniors may find themselves feeling down because they cannot go out as much as they once could or due to limited mobility. Maybe elderly individuals feel lonely and don’t have family or friends around. These emotions are valid but not permanent.
The movement that art provides allows for the elderly individual to channel their energy and emotions into something. It’s for this reason art is also seen as a way for people to express their feelings.
When seniors engage in art therapy, it can improve their mood, relieve them of stress, and lessen any feelings of depression and anxiety.
5. The Activity Can Provide Pain Relief
For elderly individuals who are experiencing pain, the discomfort can be so overwhelming that it is tough to ignore. Art therapy has been known to help provide relief for those seniors experiencing chronic pain. This is because art therapy becomes the elderly individual’s new focus during the activity, taking their mind off the discomfort they feel. Furthermore, art therapy can promote relaxation, which can help provide further relief.
Elderly Care and Companion Care Services
Art therapy for seniors has a myriad of benefits, but it may still be tough for elderly individuals to participate in for a variety of reasons.
For seniors who have chosen to age at home, they might be on their own without their spouse or any family around. Given any limitations they could have, seniors might not have the energy or resources for art therapy. Going out to the store to acquire supplies for art therapy or finding motivation to participate in such an activity might be difficult to do without anyone around to help.
With a professional caregiver who doubles as a companion, elderly individuals can have the help and support they need to not only engage in art therapy, but also have the home care they need to age at home in a safe and comfortable manner.
Assisting Hands Home Care can help through the senior companion care services we provide in Park Ridge, IL, and the neighboring areas. Within these services, a caregiver will be assigned to provide whatever care and assistance seniors need in addition to being their companion. We will engage in quality conversation and fun, beneficial activities. With this regular social interaction, elderly individuals can avoid feelings of loneliness and maintain their mental health.