Advancement in medicine and what is considered a healthy lifestyle has greatly increased the average lifespan. This means that although we are living longer, some of us are having to live with certain ailments and degenerate diseases, greatly impacting a person’s quality of life.
What is there to do, though?
While you may not be able to cure the likes of dementia, however, there may be ways to make livingwith it much easier. Along with advancing in cures, medicine is also finding ways to live with certainailments much more easily with added comfort.
One great example is using art as a means of coping and improving your quality of life. Luckily, there are many versions of art, be it painting traditional landscapes, dancing, or even creating and publishing a graphic novel.
When senior citizens partake in art more, they are opening up avenues that can take them to happier and more satisfying places. Here are the benefits of art outlined, along with how it can help.
Benefits of Art
Art is incredibly beneficial to everyone of all ages. It is how we can express ourselves, work with our hands, and even how we can learn how to better relate to our emotions and stave off mental health illnesses like depression or anxiety.
Art has benefits for everyone and allows people to relax, gain confidence, improve their social skills, empathy, and so much more. It is a great way to nurture the spiritual side of a person, and for senior citizens who face a myriad of health issues and mental degrade, it can provide solace and a fun way to spend an afternoon.
How Art Can Help Senior Citizens
Art can help senior citizens in a variety of ways. The most important benefits to seniors include cognitive improvement and the ability to develop sensory-motor functions, improvementin self-esteem, emotional development, improved social skills, and so much more. Done right and with an art therapist art can be used to resolve conflict and distress within a person, and can even be used to help relate better to others in similar situations.
Art is communication in its very basic form, and with it,seniors suffering from all ailments can live a better quality life.
Improved Cognitive Function
One of the biggest benefits to senior citizens with mental cognitive decline or dementia is increased cognitive function provided through art therapy. Muscle memory is a very powerful thing, and adults suffering from dementia might find that despite their memory going, they can still produce art and gain benefits from the process. Even for those who have never pursued creative interests can still greatly benefit.
Combined with the services and advice from Dementia Australia, art therapy can work towards improving the quality of life for patients and even work towards improving their condition. Patients with dementia who have pursued art therapy as one course of action have benefited from the socialisation, from the creative expression, from the relaxing process, and so much more. Art and creativity can help those who are suffering from dementia. It might not slow down the process or reverse it, but it can greatly improve their quality of life in this most trying time.
Creative art pursuits provide older adults with multiple benefits, not the least of which is enhanced cognitive function.
– Barbara Bagan, PhD
Art is a very therapeutic, relaxing activity that can be enjoyedanywhere. For seniors who hope to bring together their friends or start a community, it can be enjoyedin a public space where they socialise, enjoy the scenery, and develop their skills. Art can also be combined with auditory stimulus such as music, at which point the brain will perform better during these sessions.
Regain Control and Agility
Art allows for unique movements and muscle memory, which can help those who are suffering from brain-related diseases and inflictions such as arthritis.
Art done in a social environment is a great bonding experience, and should be adopted by all care homes and even hospitals. It gives people a chance to talk about a common task in an environment that isn’t hyper-focusedon communication. Even for those who don’t speak, creating in a community environment can help them stave off loneliness and improve their mental wellbeing.
When you create art,you are actively engaging with the environment around you. Frommusicto analysinga scene or landscape, to even playing with different colours and techniques. No matter what level the artist is at, engaging with something creative is a great way to expand the senses and engage the mind.
Getting better at a skill is a great way to boost your self-esteem. Art is incredibly easy to succeed at as well, so long as the artist in question aims to develop their own personalstyle rather than copy someone else. Further, actually completing a painting, drawing, or other art form is a great boost to your self-esteem and provides seniors with a feeling of accomplishment. For those who no longer have career goals to drive them, this can be a great substitute.
Effective with Depression
Art has been proven to help seniors suffering from depression. Especially when done in a group setting or with an art therapist, art can be key to helping seniors (and anyone else) work through their emotions and learn how to express themselves and relate to these emotions in a healthier way. In seniors particularly depression can emerge due to friends dying, family becoming distant, and of course the frustration of age-related disease and decline. By learning a new skill, becoming social again, and having fun the causes of a senior’s depression can be reduced.
Growing old is difficult to adjust to after a lifetime of being fully capable of taking care of yourself. Thisleads many seniors not toseek out the help that they need to maintain good health and wellbeing as they get older. Instead of suffering, joining an art class or working with an art therapist can bring back joyin their lives, increase cognitive function, and of course provide seniors with the chance to meet and befriend new people.