Art Therapy can be a great resource for self-expression, connection, cognitive strengthening, and mental health.
Art Therapy makes intentional and purposeful use of multiple forms of visual art to create accessible and enjoyable outlets for personal and emotional expression and growth. Especially helpful for seniors faced with the task of learning to deal with new realities and changes that are occurring within the greater context of their lives, this type of therapy utilizes the creativity of art as a tool to help manage challenges such as:
- Diseases and Health Conditions
There are many positive outcomes that can come from participating in Art Therapy. Taking part in creative activities such as visual art, and incorporating them into life can help with the following:
- Create Enriching Experiences: Art Therapy for seniors involves materials and crafts that are suitably matched to the ability levels of each individual person, to ensure that the experience is always enjoyable and enriching, rather than frustrating or disheartening. This offers an opportunity for seniors to create and complete something that is tangible and can be held onto with a sense of pride. It can be empowering for seniors to discover a new outlet for expressing themselves and cultivating new skills.
- Creating Calm: The skills learned and honed through the practice of artistic expression are not only fulfilling for seniors long-term, but can also help to foster feelings of calm within the moment. The creative process and the aspects that are involved in creating art give seniors tactile things onto which they can direct their attention and through which they can enter a state of focus that can distract them from stress, worry, or other difficult aspects of everyday life.
- Strengthening Cognitive and Physical Abilities: The colour and vibrancy of Art Therapy offers a setting in which seniors can improve or reinforce their cognitive and physical abilities through the process of creating their own art. Working through each step, reflecting on the outcome, and adjusting in accordance, all require patterns of thinking that can strengthen cognitive function. Carrying out each aspect of creating art involves moving the hands or body in ways that can be physically beneficial for seniors’ mobility and comfort.
The opportunity to engage in activities that allow self-expression through creativity and art can be deeply valuable for seniors, and the benefits that are experienced from the process of creating art and learning to express oneself through a new avenue can reach out into all other areas of seniors’ lives, impacting how they view and understand themselves in positive way.