The Mental Health Benefits of Art
The mental health benefits of art are well-known among the medical and scientific communities, which is why so many activity directors in senior living apartments make sure to include art programs in their calendar events. Grand Villa is no exception; we regularly host outings to nearby art galleries and offer art-themed activities for our residents to enjoy.
We are thrilled when we see our residents not only enjoying their golden years, but thriving in them. And we know that art can help them to do so by boosting their cognitive functions, encouraging socialization and helping to ward off depression. Here are just a few more of the positive ways that art and creativity can impact your life.
Many of the Grand Villa residents who participate in our adult coloring activities can testify to its calming effect. The simplicity of selecting colors and filling in the provided pictures lets the brain enter a state similar to meditation, which helps slow restless thoughts and lower tension levels. Other art mediums such as sketching flowers in the gardens outside or doodling random pictures just for fun can also ease stress and help seniors to focus on constructive things instead of their worries.
Art provides a safe place to express emotions, which can make it easier for individuals who tend to bottle up their feelings to deal with them in a healthy manner. Creating art that reflects their current mindset can let seniors release their sadness, fears or frustration, and sharing those pictures and the meanings behind them can help open new lines of communication with their caretakers and loved ones.
In addition to expressing emotion, the wide variety of available art styles lets seniors explore new hobbies and their own identities. Whether it's figuring out their favorite shade of blue or that they love to paint trees, art enables seniors to transform their thoughts and ideas into something visible and tangible, which can help them discover their own skills, preferences and desires. This self-awareness can then bolster their self-esteem and overall happiness.
The repetitive movements required while practicing drawing and painting can aid hand dexterity and control. This can make it easier for seniors with arthritis or reduced vision to complete daily tasks such as reaching and grasping objects around their assisted living apartments and picking up food and drinks during meals. The increase of motion can also provide a fun way to exercise and strengthen hands, which can make required physical therapy activities more enjoyable.
One of the best things about art is its versatility. Anyone interested in joining in can do so irregardless of skill levels, prior experience or physical ability. This accessibility fosters group interaction and provides participants a sense of accomplishment. If an individual feels uncomfortable attempting to draw, they can try their hand at yarn art or creating collages of pictures cut from magazines. Seniors with low vision might want to consider 3D projects made with puff paints, clay or buttons, while those with limited mobility may wish to try using rollers and sponges to fashion pictures.
Posted on Tue, September 17, 2019
by Shawn Deane