Art therapy is a creative form of self-expression that can provide relief from some mental and physical stressors. Seniors can use different mediums in art therapy, including drawing, painting, coloring, and sculpting. While a professional art therapist often leads art therapy, research shows that regular art classes’ participation has similar benefits to improving seniors’ physical and mental health.
Aging can be stressful, and art therapy offers a chance to work through any anxiety or stressors. Art can have a positive effect on the health and illness of seniors. These classes give them a sense of control, reduce depression and anxiety and increase self-esteem. Reduced feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression can be beneficial to improving someone’s overall mood. Giving seniors a creative outlet can help them manage their stress and create a fun new hobby.
Art therapy has shown cognitive benefits for seniors with dementia and other cognitive impairments. Learning new skills can enhance thinking and stimulate the senses. Research has shown that seniors who participate in art therapy can sometimes see improvements to their memory and attention after three months. Some cases have seen sustained improvements after six months.
Regular art therapy or classes may reduce chronic pain in seniors. Engaging the fingers and hands increases blood flow and circulation, helping with pain caused by arthritis or hypertension. The engagement will also help with motor skills and dexterity. Art can ease emotional or mental distress as well. It allows seniors time to relax and focus on expressing themselves through their creativity.
Art therapy can provide an alternate way for seniors to communicate, especially those who suffer from mental and physical decline. Seniors can use the art they create to share their feelings and thought freely with therapists, family members, or caregivers. Being able to communicate helps seniors feel empowered and less isolated from the people around them.
Considering the possible benefits, you may want to get the senior in your life into an art class or an art therapist. Besides being a boost to their quality of life, art is a beautiful hobby that lets seniors explore their creativity while also feeling good.