It has been said that art has a therapeutic component for all kinds of people, whether the person creating the art is expressing emotions through the actual thing they are drawing or painting, or the person is alleviating anxiety through the actual motions and strokes of the brush or pencil.
The benefits of art therapy for people of all ages are extensive. Particularly for the elderly, art can provide them with an outlet for creative expression, an opportunity to apply critical thinking skills, concrete goals to work toward each week, and a sense of fulfillment when the project is completed.
Whether an elderly person has created before art or not, it has proven to be a successful form of therapy, and for those who have not picked up art until later in life, it reminds then that it is never too late to accomplish a dream or learn something new.
For elderly persons living with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis and arthritis, or are recovering from a stroke, art therapy can offer more than just a new hobby. Art therapy activities can easily be tailored to a person’s specific physical and cognitive abilities.
Many people have a hard time with aging and accepting new physical limitations and limited mobility. If caregiving is made fun by providing art and craft activities catered to their abilities, it can bring happiness to their lives and something to look forward to doing.
Art activities can include coloring projects, foam art, puzzles, games, painting, drawing, and more – so it extends beyond just painting.
Through these activities, if the art therapy is done in a class setting, it gives the elderly persons an opportunity to have fun making art in a group setting and socialize, form friendships and make connections. This is particularly helpful for elderly persons who wish to feel less isolated.
Experts say art therapy with the aging population has been a transformative and overwhelmingly positive experience, currently helping many aging adults to live healthier, more fulfilling lives.