Geriatric counselors all over the country having been starting to recognize how beneficial art therapy can be for senior citizens who are living with memory loss, or those that need to manage stress or pain.
In general, seniors deal with a variety of ailments that could be improved by participating in art therapy or counseling. Art therapy works by using painting or other activities to assist seniors with keeping their minds sharp and promote dexterity in a laid back environment that is fun for all. This form of counseling can be highly stimulating and turn into a cherished hobby.
Just one of the benefits from art therapy is improved memory. It has been shown that activities that cause a person to regularly focus can prove to be highly beneficial to someone living with memory loss. Activities like painting and sculpting can be used to promote cognitive abilities by challenging the mind. The Chicago Tribune reports that art therapy can also be used to uncover passions that someone once had about the world that might have been forgotten or clouded by memory loss.
Additionally, art therapy has been shown to be a form of stress relief for seniors as art can be for people of all ages. In the early stages of memory loss, people can become filled with stress, anxiety, and depression from their developing condition. But, not only does art therapy help fight the early stages of dementia, it also provides seniors as a way to work out their feeling of anxiety or stress. The creative pursuits of painting, writing, and other activities can not only create a calming effect on those who participate, but also produce happy, healthy feelings within the clients.
Furthermore, conditions such as hypertension, arthritis and other chronic pain disorders that may be exacerbated by emotional pain can be alleviated through the use of art therapy. Geriatric counselors acknowledge that not only can the relaxing nature of art therapy reduce emotional distress, but physical stiffness and inflammation as well.
According to the Mayo Clinic, art therapy will not reduce the pain for people living with more serious arthritis, however, relaxing therapy may prove to be a viable way to manage discomfort.