We all enjoyed coloring as children – sitting down to the table with a new coloring book, crayons, and a cup of cocoa. While long-known as a peaceful activity to help young minds calm down and focus, the therapeutic effects of coloring are now emerging for adults as a way to promote mindfulness, reduce stress, and improve concentration and healthy cognitive functioning. At each of our Poet’s Walk memory care facilities, we provide our residents a dedicated studio to enjoy the art and joy of this timeless recreation therapy, stocked with premium art supplies, adult coloring books, and a peaceful atmosphere to immerse oneself into.
A Look at the Therapeutic Effects of Coloring for Adults
Research performed by the American Art Therapy Association says that adults who engage in the practice of therapeutic coloring experience feelings of decreased stress, have more confidence, and enjoy an overall greater sense of calm and serenity. These emotional and psychological benefits are rooted in the physiological changes that occur when an individual is lost in a world of peaceful landscapes, architecture, mandalas, and other engaging subjects that adult coloring books provide.
At Poet’s Walk, we see the benefits firsthand through the positive changes of our residents:
- Inspired and Stimulated Minds – Focusing the mind on a simple, calming activity such as coloring has the power to enhance brain activity, encourage positive thinking, and even foster improved social skills. These effects are particularly beneficial for seniors in memory care.
- Creative Expression – We all need to be expressive and to exercise our imaginations. Coloring provides seniors the opportunity to be creative and to let their inner child sing once again.
- Better Concentration and Focus – It has been shown that color therapy can enhance the mind’s ability to focus and can strengthen concentration.
- A Boost in Self-Confidence – Coloring therapy rehabilitation also serves to reduce feelings of insecurity and anxiety. This is because it quiets the mind, reducing the negative self-talk that can cause seniors to feel uncomfortable about themselves.
- Decreased Stress – Therapeutic coloring helps the mind to focus on the moment, thereby promoting mindfulness. It has been proven to reduce stress as well as anxiety and feelings of hopelessness.
- Greater Dexterity – Coloring is an excellent activity for enhancing dexterity. It offers dementia patients, who often have problems with motor impairment, a way to be creative.
Therapeutic Coloring Is an Ideal Winter Activity
During the colder, darker months of winter when getting outside to walk around or tend to the community garden isn’t always possible, coloring therapy offers even more value to our residents. Lacking adequate sunlight exposure, adults become vulnerable to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as well as Sundowner’s Syndrome. Therapeutic coloring gives our seniors a constructive, enjoyable solution to help ease the winter blues and to embrace this season with a sense of inner peace and comfort.
Be sure to invite your elderly loved ones to step into the immersive, therapeutic world of coloring!
Interested in finding out more about coloring therapy, as well as our other recreation therapy choices found in our Signature Touches Program? Contact us today and discover the immense difference that proven alternative therapies can make.