Why Art is Essential for Seniors
It’s Never Too Late to Enjoy the Creative Process
While admiring beautiful art can stir emotions and thoughts, creating it offers proven physical, emotional and mental benefits for older adults.
And it’s never too late to enjoy the creative process. Research shows that as brains age, creative abilities don’t necessarily deteriorate. Michelangelo, who lived until he was 88, worked throughout his life as an artist. Impressionist painter Claude Monet created some of his most famous pieces in his 70s — when he was almost blind.
Yet it’s the process of creating, not the product, that offers the health benefits so even seniors with no art skills or talents should participate in art activities.
Boosting Brain Power Through Creativity
Creating art keeps the brain stimulated. Studies have shown participating in creative activities can prevent cognitive decline to keep older adults sharper longer.
In addition, the American Art Therapy Association says artistic self-expression helps people reduce stress and manage life adjustments among other benefits. Studies show creative expression can improve memory, reasoning and resilience in older adults.
A growing body of research has also shown that drawing and painting stimulates memories in people with dementia. People with dementia or other progressive neurological diseases retain their ability to create art long after their speech and language abilities have decreased.
Increasing Physical and Emotional Well-Being
Engaging in hands-on creative activities can strengthen social connections, reduce loneliness and alleviate stress and anxiety. For example, researchers found seniors who participated in making pottery had reduced anxiety and depression along with increased self-esteem.
Focusing on the creative process also distracts older from aches and pains, while physically participating can improve motor skills by exercising hands and fingers through manipulation of art materials.
Seniors with physical limitations can still benefit from art activities through simple adaptations such as using larger needles or heavier gauge yarn for knitting or using magnifying lamps for more detailed projects such as sewing, cross-stitching, drawing or painting.
A Snapshot of Art Benefits
Art activities offer a wide range of benefits for senior adults, including:
- Providing a sense of control
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Encouraging playfulness and humor
- Improving cognition
- Sensory stimulation
- Increasing self-esteem
- Reducing boredom
- Improving communication
Artist Opportunities Are Available Here
With an unwavering commitment to residents’ health and well-being, McKnight Place Assisted Living & Memory Care offers an array of art classes and art therapy opportunities. Art therapy can restore functioning and improve well-being, while promoting relaxation, positive mood, cognitive stimulation, self-esteem and memory recall. Through private or group art-therapy sessions, residents enjoy a sense of creative accomplishment, increased confidence and many other benefits.
Schedule a Personal Tour Today
Schedule a personal tour today by calling 314-993-3333 (Assisted Living & Memory Care) or 314-993-2221 (Extended Care). Our professional staff is happy to meet with prospective residents and/or their loved ones