Seniors and Art Therapy
Art Therapy is Non-Pharmacological Treatment
Art Therapy has been shown to be very beneficial to seniors in both short and long care rehabilitation and nursing facilities like the Ditmas Park Rehab and Care Center in Brooklyn, New York. Art Therapy is a non-pharmacological way to treat seniors whether their problems are physical like recovering from a heart attack or mental like recovering from a stroke or are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
For some seniors art therapy brings back happy memories when they could indulge in art as a hobby or as part of their work or profession. For other seniors art therapy is the first time they have to discover hidden talents that they never knew they had.
Art Therapy is Beneficial in the following ways:
Encourages Socialization and Interaction
Working together with other seniors to work on art projects is a great opportunity for socialization, getting to meet new friends who share a common love of painting, drawing, working with clay, jewelry making and more. Making something creative is a good chance to interact with the art therapist, with other seniors and with family members who come to admire the beautiful paintings and projects.
Making Puppets and Puppet Shows
Working together with other seniors on projects like making puppets and then participating together in a puppet show can open up so many doors for mending and healing. Having to remember their lines for the puppet they are holding in the show is a great exercise to improve memory skills, to help with speech and language recovery and to improve communication and interaction.
There is no question that making something creative and beautiful that other people admire does so much to boost self-esteem, and being in a wheel chair is no hindrance to participating in arts and crafts.
Making all kinds of artistic creations makes a senior feel they are able to do something worthwhile and this helps to banish feelings of worthlessness.
Art Therapy helps pull a senior out of depression. They cannot just sit in a corner in their wheelchairs and brood. Life still seems worthwhile when a senior can do something creative with their hands.
Helps Seniors Forget about their Aches and Pains
Research has shown that actively participating in a lively group of other seniors working on meaningful and exciting art projects can help take their minds off of their aches and pains.
Improves Physical Motor Skills
Art Therapy is a great way to help seniors with neurological disorders like recovering from a stroke to get mobility back in their arms and hands and improve their motor function.
Helps to Improve Cognitive Functioning
Working together with other seniors and the Art Therapist and actively participating in learning new skills stimulates the brain and can help improve cognitive functioning.
Helps Awaken Memories in Seniors Suffering from Memory Loss.
Just seeing and holding crayons or paint brushes can help awaken long-lost memories in seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Art Therapy Decreases Boredom
Art Therapy gives seniors the chance to do something interesting and erases feelings of boredom.
Reduces Anxiety and Feelings of Confusion
Keeping busy at new and interesting projects helps to chase away feelings of anxiety and confusion.
Art Therapy is such a positive non-pharmacological way to treat seniors that it is no wonder that it is growing in popularity and is now included in the recreational and therapeutic activities for seniors at many short and long-term rehabilitation facilities.
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