As we age, our bodies undergo many changes. And even if we’re still active and healthy, it can be difficult to feel good about ourselves. Getting older can also bring on feelings of isolation, loneliness, and sometimes depression. Thankfully, there are lots of things we can do to feel happier and more connected with each day. And one of the most fun and accessible options is art therapy.
Art therapy is, as the name would suggest, the practice of creating art in order to bring about therapeutic benefits to the patient. This type of therapy gives disabled adults and seniors an excellent way to express their feelings, find their creative voices, and communicate about the things that matter most to them. They are also able to express their feelings about life, death, aging, and their own health issues.
Here are some of the wholesome benefits of art therapy.
Reasons Why Art Therapy Is Great For Seniors
It Helps In Improving Memory
A recent study indicates that art therapy improves memory in seniors. This is because the combination of art-making and talking about life experiences can help seniors remember more about the past. The study involved 60 seniors, who were split into two groups. One group participated in art therapy, where they engaged in making art, talking about art, and remembering life events through art. The other group did not participate in art therapy. Both groups were given a memory test before and after the study. The art therapy group remembered more about the past, and their memories were more accurate than the other group.
It Reduces Pain
Although we may not always like to admit it, everyone experiences pain. This is especially true for seniors, who are more prone to developing chronic pain due to illness, injury, and other health issues. To help seniors deal with pain, art therapy can be a great tool. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves using the creative process of art-making to improve mental health and well-being.
What makes art therapy so effective is that it provides mental and physical relaxation. When you do art, you use small but accurate movements and gestures, allowing your body to experience better blood flow and muscle coordination. All the discomforts you will be eased within the process.
It Alleviates Stress
Art therapy is an interesting practice that many seniors overlook, but it could actually help them with many issues they are having. For one, it could be a great way to relieve some of the stress they might be getting.
Seniors who suffer from daily stress often wonder how to manage it. In the short term, they might be tempted to reach for coffee or a cigarette to help them get through the day. Obviously, smoking and drinking are no longer healthy for adults. Alternatives like art therapy should be considered, as it uses the creation and appreciation of art to help relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and increase your overall health. Art therapy can help you both emotionally and physically, and it can be customized to fit your specific needs.
It Relieves Depression
Depression is a serious illness. It affects over 300 million people worldwide. While medication and therapy are essential treatment options, they are not always successful. Seniors are typically prone to this particular condition, and it is quite alarming that many of them are suffering from it.
Art therapy helps people who are depressed or in a crisis express their feelings through artwork. When you draw or paint, you naturally focus on the present moment. You may start with a blank canvas, but the blank canvas quickly fills with color and form as you focus on your drawing or painting. This can help you to focus on the present moment instead of thinking about painful events from the past or upsetting memories from the future.
It Improves Communication Skills
Art therapy has long been known to improve self-expression, self-awareness, and self-confidence. Still, it now appears that art therapy can also improve communication skills in people with dementia. A recent study found that art therapy actually produced measurable improvements in participants’ ability to respond to questions and initiate conversations with caregivers and family members. This study, which was published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, suggests that art therapy may be a powerful tool to help seniors with dementia develop social skills.