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Art Therapy Benefits for Seniors

art therapy for seniorsArt therapy has a lot of benefits for older adults who want to manage stress or pain, as well as older adults living with memory loss. You might be asking what art therapy is, and it is a therapeutic use of art for those who suffer from illnesses, trauma, or any other kinds of challenges faced in everyday life. It can also be used for someone who wants to relieve a little stress and have fun, be creative, and find some personal development in their lives. The older adult would work with an art therapist who has training in both art but also therapy; they know how to combine the two in a creative and constructive way. Older adults can experience several benefits including:

  • Receiving an affirmation of daily living through creating something with their own hands
  • Coping with traumatic experiences
  • Enhancing self-awareness as well as awareness of others
  • Coping with stress
  • Enhancing cognitive abilities, which may be especially beneficial to those dealing with mental afflictions such as dementia
  • Dealing with symptoms of diseases or other medical conditions
  • Assisting in socialization
  • Increasing self-esteem
  • Reducing depression and anxiety

Art therapy is something that an older adult can do with his or her caregiver in the comfort of their own home, take an art class in a wellness center or community center, or even a one on one session, nursing homes and rehab facilities as well. Art therapy helps to keep the mind sharp and promote dexterity in a setting this is fun, casual and social. Artistic interests can develop into a hobby and give the older adult something to look forward to; each session is another opportunity to succeed.

Examples of art therapy are:

  • Needlework
  • Knitting/crocheting
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Photography
  • Pottery/sculpting
  • Jewelry Making

Art therapy can help to improve memory because your mind is being challenged to promote cognitive abilities. Art can bring out someone’s creative side so it then could uncover connections and passions about the world that can sometimes be clouded by memory loss. Art therapy can also offer an opportunity for an older adult with memory loss to be expressive that can help a great deal with communication. Art therapy can also help with reducing stress it gives the older adult a way to work through anxiety and negative feelings. Painting or even writing is a calming creative way to forget about issues going on and it helps to promote happy feelings. An older adult’s self-esteem could get a boost and then their confidence will go up so they may become more social, playful and it could stimulate their sense of humor. Hypertension, arthritis and other disorders that cause chronic pain art therapy can offer a relaxing nature that can help reduce inflammation and stiffness but also emotional pain and other ailments. Regular art therapy engages the fingers, hands and arms. This light but consistent physical activing can promote better blood flow and agility. Over time if the older adult continues with art therapy they may feel more nimble and experience less pain. In conclusion this is a fantastic way to get older adults moving, having fun and enjoying their time. Creativity is an amazing outlet!

If you or a loved one would benefit from art therapy with a caregiver or need transportation to get to a class call Relevar Home Care at (586) 493-7677. We service many counties in the Metro Detroit area including Macomb and Oakland.