Coloring has long been considered a children’s activity that carries multiple benefits related to the development of motor skills, encouraging color recognition, or helping with concentration.
Within the past few years, coloring has seen a significant increase in popularity not only among children, but, more importantly, among adults and seniors. It is not viewed as a childish activity anymore. With adult coloring books now available for sale anywhere, coloring has become a valuable therapeutic activity, particularly for older adults.
In fact, senior citizens who color can enjoy elevated well-being, improved overall health, and self expression. It’s also become a valuable tool for occupational therapy. Here’s why some home health agencies suggest adding this to senior patient care.
Coloring Improves Motor Skills
Coloring can enhance eye and hand coordination. Besides, it also improves dexterity, grip control, and focus. Strengthening motor skills is crucial for seniors to engage in basic daily activities, and coloring is a perfect way to help with it. Occupational therapy near you may suggest coloring as a way to help seniors recover motor skills after an illness.
Coloring Promotes Social Fulfillment
Coloring can be a great group activity that allows seniors to build and maintain social relationships with friends, family, and caregivers.
Whether participating in a group dedicated to coloring or engaging in the activity with grandchildren, this simple entertainment brings people of all backgrounds or ages together. As social interaction is vital for physical and mental health, coloring can also help seniors who experience loneliness improve their mood and well-being.
Coloring Relieves Stress
Coloring is a stimulating activity that provides many health benefits similar to meditation.
It relaxes the mind and focuses attention on the present moment, which may help get rid of negative thoughts and ease the stress of daily life.
Coloring Reduces Stress of Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease
Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may find coloring helpful in easing the agitation often caused as a result of their condition. The freedom to color without the need to rely on memory or follow specific steps can help to lessen the stressful effects of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease on seniors in home care near you.
On the other hand, coloring can also be a great way to spark one’s memory. As the illness progresses at a different pace depending on the individual, it can be difficult to determine what memories they have retained from the past. When running a coloring session, it is worth providing seniors with pictures they may recognize from their past, such as vintage cars, animals, flowers, or familiar landscapes. These coloring pages may help bring their memories back.
Coloring Encourages Creativity and Self-Expression
Coloring therapy is a perfect way to allow elderly people to express their artistic abilities and develop their creative thinking skills.
Coloring offers creative freedom, with no guidelines or rules to follow. With a variety of color combinations and designs, seniors can follow their hearts and create masterpieces they can be proud of.
Coloring Provides a Sense of Accomplishment
Boredom is one of the factors contributing to poor mental health among aging adults. The feeling of having nothing to do during periods of recovery or rest during home health services often leads to loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Coloring triggers mental stimulation and focuses the brain on a single goal. It improves concentration and problem-solving skills, providing a physical representation of a completed project.
Coloring Can Be Practiced Anywhere
One of the greatest benefits of coloring is that it does not require a specific location to practice it – you can do it anywhere. It may be particularly helpful for seniors with limited mobility who are receiving home health services.
What’s more, the newest technology has developed digital coloring pages for older adults that enable the users to enhance the size and definition for easier viewing. Such a tool may be a great alternative to regular coloring books for elderly people with decreasing vision.
Planning a Coloring Session for Seniors in Home Care
If you’re planning to introduce older adults to coloring, careful planning can make a session run smoothly. There are a few things you should consider:
- Make sure you’re supplying the elderly with the right tools. Seniors may find crayons demeaning, which can make them reluctant to participate in the activity. Felt tip pens or markers are not suitable for the elderly as they bleed easily and go through the paper. They can also be difficult to control for people with deficits in dexterity. The best coloring tools will be soft-core colored pencils. An occupational therapist near you can recommend accessories to make it easier to hold the pencils for seniors with dexterity challenges.
- Provide suitable paper. Avoid using plain office paper for coloring. Instead, supply them with printed or photocopied coloring pages on quality drawing paper. They will be able to experiment with paper of different thicknesses and textures, making them more engaged.
- Encourage and praise participants. Let seniors express their creative abilities by allowing them to play with different colors and designs. Make sure you acknowledge their efforts to keep them motivated and engaged.
Confer with Home Health Services for More Ideas
As we age, we may experience various health issues related to both physical and mental health. Therefore, it is particularly important to take care of our well-being to ease the effects of aging.
Coloring is one of the most popular activities that helps older adults keep their health in check and promotes positive thinking. Coloring therapy can help relieve stress as well as encourage creative development, which is essential for proper brain functioning.
Including coloring therapy in seniors’ everyday life routine may have beneficial effects on their overall health condition – but it isn’t the only technique to employ.
Our home health agency can help devise a plan of care for your loved ones that includes a full scope of services, such as occupational therapy near you. Contact us to learn more.