How Art Benefits Seniors
“Art is the signature of civilizations,” – Beverly Sills.
This quote is truer than most know. Archeologists surmise that a group of people can only be classified as a civilization if there’s art. The reason is because art shows contentment. Otherwise, a group of people is merely surviving. Once the group has an established source of food, water, shelter, and safety, then, and only then, does artwork emerge.
Everyone, in some way, shape, or form, has created art. Maybe it was only as a child, when you used to color or paint. Maybe it was a ceramics class you took in high school. Regardless of what form of art you once made, as a senior, this is the best time to get back in to making art.
The Healthy Side of Art
Creating, in all its many forms, has a lot of health benefits. Typically, they benefit the mind, although, depending on what type of artwork you’re making, could also benefit the physical health as well. Artwork has been shown in studies to help keep the minds of seniors sharp, staving off dementia. It does this by making the brain think in different ways, or use a different area (the “creative side”). Hand-eye coordination has been shown to increase in seniors when creating. The amount of focus it takes to concentrate while making something artistic further helps the brain to create or maintain neural pathways that would otherwise degrade.
Art has been shown in numerous studies to bring relaxation, reduce anxiety, and reduce feelings of depression. It also allows the creator to feel in control. As a senior, sometimes the feeling of being out of control can take hold in the mind. Art helps with this as you are the sole creator of something and are thus in control of every aspect of it. However you chock it up, art is good for you.
The “I’m too old” Mentality
Unfortunately, there are far too many seniors that feel that they’re too old to start, or restart, their creativity. This could not be further from the truth. Most artwork requires little energy, little knowledge, and sometimes only a few supplies. For example, you may have an old shoe box filled with photos. You can try making a poster collage or scrapbook. Sure, some may argue that scrap-booking is a craft, and that crafts are not art. But, whether it’s an art or whether it’s a craft, it benefits in the same ways. For a collage all you need is photos, poster board, and some glue or tape. A scrapbook is similar, although there are a lot of ways and forms a scrapbook can take shape. With any type of artwork, the limit is simply your imagination.
Getting a cheap canvas, paint, and some brushes is always a great way to create art. You don’t have to be Picasso to make a masterpiece. Just let the paint flow into your artistic soul and then transfer that energy onto the canvas with a brush. Does it have to look like anything specific? Of course not. It can look however you want. The time to create is now.
The Many Faces of Art
Artwork can be found in almost anything. Most people think art is a beautiful painting of something like a mountain and river scene. Whereas the truth is far from that. While that kind of art is perfectly fine, art is not limited to only one form or concept.
A recent fad has taken the world by storm. It’s called: coloring. Yes, coloring. The only difference between this coloring and the coloring you did as an elementary student? More adult themed books, colored pencils instead of crayons, and no one says anything to you when you color out of the lines. They’re known as adult coloring books. They are being sold at practically every store across the nation. Instead of silly cartoon characters with broad lines and vast empty spaces, adult color books have intricate images like, detailed flowers, animals, and more. Each coloring book has a different level of intricacy. Some have numerous designs with small areas and many shapes and spaces. While others are more relaxed, with larger spaces. Is this artwork? Maybe not by definition, but it still has the same effects on your brain as creating, and let’s be honest, you are creating. You pick the colors, where they go, and what will be the end result.
There are so many forms of artwork in the world. The written word is a form of art, like poetry or creative writing. Going to a supply store and picking up some modeling clay and making an easy vase for flowers, that’s art. Photography is art. The possibilities are endless and the benefits are always positive.
At Bonaventure Senior Living, we have Living Perfected. This means that we always having fun and interesting activities for our residents to enjoy. This almost always includes various art classes or projects.
We would love to show you our communities. Visit Book-A-Tour so you can see for yourself how we have Retirement Perfected.