Art Therapy for the Elderly

art therapy

Art therapy can be quite useful for older adults, particularly those living with memory loss, or people who have to handle stress and pain. Painting, listening to music, and other art activities are proven to help keep the mind sharp, and encourage dexterity, in a social, fun, and positive atmosphere. Within this article, we discuss the benefits associated with art therapy.  

-Promotes Self Expression
One benefit that is associated with art therapy, is promoting self-expression. Expressing yourself through art is a really powerful means of sharing your perspective with others. It may also help people suffering from memory loss, or people who are recovering from long-forgotten memories, as it boosts their self-esteem, and is shown to be a relaxing method for the elderly.  

-Improves Communication
Those facing trouble expressing themselves will find art to be a fun escape. It can be a visual approach to share how you are feeling and helps the elderly to get in touch with others around you, reducing the feeling of being isolated and lonely; this is most common in the elderly as they are separated from their family or friends.  

 -Enhances Cognitive Skills
Another benefit associated with the arts is that it enhances your cognitive skills. Discussing your artwork with others makes you better at communicating, and also promotes memory health and cognition. Elderly people who use art enables them to look beyond their own ideas and consider their environment in a new method and perspective.  

-Reduces Boredom
Art is a fun group activity that allows elderly people to invest their time in a fun and creative way. They share the art they have created with one another, and this also allows them to connect with the other residents and create social bonds, reducing boredom. The positive effects of music and art therapy on ill or the elderly are the focus of several recent studies. The results reveal that music participation, visual arts, creative movement activities and expressive writing and painting, greatly impact mood and supply positive health effects for people who suffer from chronic illness and mental illness. 

While chronic diseases are a nationwide problem, visual art and music therapy has been studied in cases of the elderly and very ill patients. Some of the positive affects that music and art therapy could include: 

– Self-reflection in all patients  

– Reducing symptoms of ill patients 

– Alter thinking patterns in the elderly 

– Reduced muscle tension in all patients 

Reduced injury prevention

– Improved social relationships in elderly 

– Increased motivation in elderly  

– Improved self-image 

– Constructed confidence 

– Increased verbalization 

Reduced fall prevention

Music and art therapy through painting, singing, playing instruments, drawing, dance or other creative outlets has greatly improved the mood of many individuals. It has even been shown to help rehabilitation in the older ages, as the elderly are more inclined to develop unique illnesses, and are lonely and isolated.  A feeling of purpose is also important for seniors, particularly if they spent the vast majority of their younger years characterised by a livelihood or by raising children and running a household. Once those duties are raised, seniors can sometimes create a doubt about their function later in life. This can influence health and overall well-being. Participating in artistic activities, however, bolsters problem-solving abilities and satisfaction, which seniors may take into everyday life. Also, when seniors have the ability to talk about their handmade gifts with family and friends, they develop a feeling of pride in what they have created. 

Arts and crafts and other creative projects can help alleviate boredom and maintain seniors’ minds busy, and might even help prevent feelings of boredom. Arts, crafts, and music all assist with hand-eye coordination, cognitive skills, and concentration, overall helping the elderly to rehabilitate.