Art Therapy for Seniors
Art has become an important tool in therapy as it helps express feelings that might not be find expression in any spoken language. The benefits of art therapy for seniors is also fast gaining recognition. Caregivers for the elderly are increasingly incorporating art into their routines for those that still live at home. It is imperative, however for the caregiver to understand and grasp the benefits of art therapy so that they may use it aptly for the well-being of the elderly by helping them add value to their lives and finding new ways to enjoy themselves.
What is it?
There are traumas, illnesses, and so many more kinds of challenges faced by the aging population and there is a definite need of more than just physical support and rehabilitation. Art therapy is essentially using art as a therapeutic tool to handle these phases and concerns effectively. Art therapy has also found its use in assisting people look for any kind of personal development in their lives.
Art therapists who have been formally trained in arts and therapy both and have an in-depth understanding & experience of combining the two in innovative and productive manner work with individuals. A good relationship between the two actually has a seriously positive impact on the individual. Following is a list of some of the most important benefits that individuals derive from art therapy.
- Identifying & coping with traumatic experiences
- Discovering better ways to cope with stress
- Dealing with concerning medical symptoms or any other kind of medical situations
- Bettering cognitive abilities, that may actually be of particular advantage to those dealing with mental conditions like dementia
- Increase self-awareness and the awareness of the others
- Gaining confidence and a sense of accomplishment through creating a masterpiece of their own
One of the main advantages of this kind of therapy is that the ensuing work can be carried out in the patient’s homes, rehabs, nursing homes, wellness, or community centers. Outdoors can in fact be the ideal destination to nurture creativity and offers a world of positivity.
Art therapy benefits one and all, across ages and all social platforms, but has special benefits for the elderly who are living by themselves at home. There are some health concerns that start afflicting the older generation like Alzheimer’s or other kinds of dementia or severe & devastating conditions like arthritis. Not only are these conditions painful physically, but they also suffer from depressive tendencies and find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that they might need any kind of assistance. The most severely afflicted in this scenario are those that have lived independently.
Some pretty basic needlework projects can encourage the seniors to learn to use their hands or some projects using materials like felt are usually soft for them contrary to the physical pain they are going through. Emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental aspects of a senior’s life are positively reinforced through art therapy. For those who find it difficult to express themselves through spoken language, painting and drawings are the perfect media to express themselves and to find inner peace. In case of a senior center, art therapy encourages social interaction through group activities and collaborative projects for the in-patients.