The benefits of Art Therapy for the elderly are immense. Not only is art a therapeutic and satisfying activity, but it can also provide a sense of purpose and afford an interest for the elderly to look forward to. As well as helping to improve physical cognition, it can have an effect on someone’s sense of well-being. It has also been shown to
Improved Memory Loss
Activities such as painting and sculpting can help keep the mind sharp and promote dexterity in a relaxed, fun, social and casual setting. It may even uncover passions and past connections that may now be clouded by memory loss. For those with advanced memory loss it may promote a way to communicate and express themselves.
Helping with Dementia
It is said that dementia is localized to the left of the brain, and because those suffering dementia experience a progressive loss of language, tremendous visual creativity can emerge. Art can depict memories from life before dementia and this can in turn promote sensory stimulation.
Chronic pain and conditions such as arthritis and hypertension may be alleviated because participating in an activity such as painting or constructing crafts, may help to reduce physical inflammation and stiffness. Regular art therapy engages the fingers, hands and arms, which can promote better blood flow to these areas, which in time may mean experiencing less pain.
The calming nature of art represents an opportunity to work through feelings of anxiety and stress and reduces depression. It can boost self-esteem and promote feelings of confidence and well-being.
Offering a creative outlet for expression and communication, Art Therapy keeps your mind stimulated and this communal activity can also reduce the negative impacts of loneliness by fostering a safe and stable environment coming together with others.
We have a number of Art Programs at all of our Homestyle Homes. At our Ferndale Gardens home there is a weekly Arts and Crafts Program which is run by ex-Arts teacher Ruth, who kindly volunteers her time with costume design, decorations and much more! We also have some special residents like Margaret in our photo from our Rowville Manor home, who knits woollen dolls and sells them to residents and their families. Each doll takes around six weeks to knit, and it gives Margaret a great sense of achievement and enjoyment, whilst the money raised from the sale of the dolls is donated back to the Lifestyle Program.
For someone that may be struggling to maintain independence with their physical limitations, there are no barriers with art. Art Projects can also be modified to meet the needs of the person at hand. This may reduce feelings of isolation because art is inclusive and you can be as creative – or not, as you please!
If you would like to know more about our Art Therapy Programs or any of our homes, please call us on (03) 9559 0400 or contact us here.