Growing older doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you loved when you were younger. Many mature adults finally have the extra time to focus on pursuing their favorite hobbies and dreams. When you’re no longer working a 9-5 job or chasing after children, you have greater freedom to strengthen your talents or develop brand-new ones. Elder Care Alliance always encourages seniors to fill their days with enjoyable, fulfilling activities. Through our Mercy Brown Bag Program, we help facilitate healthy aging with art.
Benefits of Art Therapy for Older Adults
Art therapy uses creative arts to help people express themselves and reduce physical, emotional, and mental stress. Many people view art as simply a fun hobby. But for some, it is so much more than that. Here are a few benefits art therapy can offer you or any older adult.
Creating art can help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. Older adults who engage in creative arts are less likely to feel lonely and depressed. They’re also more likely to have a positive outlook on life and themselves. Art can also become an outlet for feelings of frustration. When you can express yourself creatively, it becomes a positive outlet for any negative feelings you might otherwise hold inside.
Increased Social Interaction
Seniors who attend art therapy sessions can interact with other people with the same interests. Regular social interaction is essential for avoiding the feelings of isolation many older adults develop.
Improved Motor Skills
As the human body ages, fine motor skills can decline. Engaging in painting, drawing, and other activities that exercise these skills can keep them sharp. Creating art also keeps the arms and hands moving, facilitating blood flow throughout the body and improving coordination.
Better Cognitive Function
Declining cognitive function is one of the most common and frustrating side effects of aging. While you may not be able to restore the brain function you enjoyed as a teenager, you can sharpen your mind by engaging in art therapy. Learning new techniques helps establish neural connections that the natural aging process may have damaged or lost.
Greater Sense of Fulfillment
It’s common for older adults to wonder about their purpose in life. They may feel they have less worth because they’re no longer raising families or bringing in an income. However, those who engage in creative activities are likelier to maintain a sense of self-worth and fulfillment.
Painting therapy may help older adults experiencing memory loss from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It is often combined with music therapy to help stimulate long-forgotten memories of past experiences and loved ones.
These are just a handful of benefits you or your loved one can enjoy by engaging in art therapy. Even one session per week can help older adults live more fulfilling and enjoyable lives.