Painting has many benefits for seniors
If you enjoy painting or being creative, you are already aware of the benefits the creative process has therapeutically. Creativity helps us improve our physical, mental and phycological well being. When seniors are guided through the creative process, the benefits increase substantially. Here are just a few of the benefits that painting has for seniors.
Improves mental health and elevates mood.
Social painting workshops happen in a group of like minded individuals which encourages socializing and communication with everyone around them. Even shy or introverted seniors find opportunities to communicate with the other students. When older adults lose friends and family members, many feel isolated and begin to struggle with feelings of isolation and despair. Painting classes enable seniors to make new friends and use their social skills in a very relaxed, no pressure atmosphere.
Cognitive function and stimulation
Painting forces people to use both sides of their brain simultaneously. This helps creativity and increases cognitive function. Learning a new skill increases brain activity without struggle. Seniors who paint have sharper minds. Some studies suggest that creative activities slow down the development of memory disorders and conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer's disease*. The painting process also creates an opportunity for seniors to express themselves in ways that they are not able to through communication.
Increased motor skills and coordination
When seniors focus on one task, like painting, their fine motor skills are exercised and improved. These minor activities are easy for someone with limited physical abilities but still increase blood flow and improve coordination. This in turn, helps with fine motor skills and dexterity in the hands, wrists and fingers. Seniors with arthritis in these areas are more capable of controlling swelling and pain in these areas. There is also an improvement in balance.
There are so many benefits for seniors, it makes sense that 50+ and retirement communities are scampering to find painting workshops and arts and crafts activities for their residents. It is not only beneficial physically and mentally, its stimulating and fun.
*The Creativity and Aging Study The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults