Encouraging Positivity In Seniors
This article has been written by Jackie Edwards, a former health coach turned writer.
Experiencing Joy Later in Life Through Art
When people think about aging, words such as isolation and loneliness can be prevalent. Just because you’re getting older though, doesn’t mean that you can’t experience joy. There are many ways that seniors can maintain and improve positivity in their lives, but one of the key ones is through art programs. Several studies have shown the positive impact of engaging in art activities. In fact, one art-making program in Taiwan designed for seniors found that participants had lower rates of loneliness and depression, higher morale, and more confidence.
Improved Cognitive Function
Art therapy and programs encourage seniors to make art in any form that they like. A diverse and well-planned program will explore multiple mediums and allow seniors to find an activity that suits their interests. When finding an area of interest, participating in creating pieces stimulates the senses to become more active and sharper. This is especially beneficial for someone who is not familiar with art as it will enhance their thinking. Art programs make it easier to form neural connections that may have been slowed down due to aging. Consider the challenges of drawing a cat, for example. Portraying the complexity of a cat, its fur, and unique body shape stimulates you to think creatively and how to portray that animal in a specific medium such as drawing or painting.
Art therapy and programs have been shown to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety regardless of the age group. It’s especially beneficial for seniors though since it allows them to take their free time to learn a new skill. Being involved with an art class or program allows them to relax and focus on positive feelings. Since art is an expressive medium, they can use this to provide an outlet for their feelings.
Opens Opportunities for Social Interaction
Being in an art program allows interaction with like-minded individuals. Art programs specifically geared towards seniors aren’t strictly necessary but can be beneficial. Not only will they be learning a new skill, they’ll also be able to talk about their lives and passions with each other. This is a great benefit for seniors. If they live alone or even live with family, they may feel as though they don’t have people who understand their perspective. Being in a program where you can socialize and grow together with like-minded people is a great benefit.
With a wide range of mediums available and styles of artwork, seniors can consider participating in painting, sculpture, pottery, and much more. Even one class a week can make a difference. If you’re a senior or have a senior family member or friend, consider encouraging them to pursue a creative class or program in their area. It may surprise both you and them how much they enjoy learning in the arts