The long, arduous battle with the COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably taken a toll on many of us. From being isolated due to lockdowns and the lack of social interactions with friends to having to cope with uncertainty and the fear of loss of income or retrenchment, our mental health is at risk while the country deals with emerging mutations of the virus. To live with the new normal, we must constantly adapt to changes.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine reported that seniors are physically and mentally more vulnerable during prolonged periods of isolation. Hence, during this period, our loved ones require more attention from us. We can look after our loved one’s mental health by encouraging them to engage in hobbies. Studies have shown that using creative art therapy is beneficial for seniors. During the creative art therapy process, personal expressions derived from art can provide insights into one’s emotions. As such, creative art therapy has the potential to help individuals with mental health issues cope with anxiety levels and bring about psychological healing.
Common Types of Creative Art Therapy
Creative art therapy involves the use of various art forms and techniques to foster creative expression and communication. Examples of art techniques could include drawing, coloring, shading, and painting to allow individuals to freely express themselves. Aside from art therapy, other types of creative art therapy include dance therapy, music therapy, and poetry therapy.
Benefits of Creative Art Therapy for Seniors
Engaging in creative art therapy brings about cognitive benefits for seniors. It stimulates the imagination and encourages creativity and self-expression which allows our loved ones to gain more self-awareness and cope with their emotions. When creative arts therapy is used in a group setting, our loved ones can form bonds and connect with others in the same community.
Other benefits of creative art therapy include:
- Enhances memory – seniors suffering from memory loss may gradually retrieve their memories when their brains are stimulated during the creative process.
- Improves mood – these therapeutic sessions allow seniors to relax while focusing on themselves. Research has shown that those who frequently engage in creative art therapy have better moods and are more optimistic in life.
- Experience new things – seniors can find joy in simple things like exploring activities that they have never done before. By engaging their bodies and brains in new ways, they can turn intrigue into excitement.
- Refine multi-tasking skills – dance therapy and drama therapy allow seniors to engage multiple body parts and senses at the same time. This can help them improve muscle coordination.
Creative art therapy is exceptionally rewarding for seniors as they can learn more about themselves. Studies have purported that the use of art in any setting can boost mental health as it allows individuals to feel at ease. There is no prerequisite knowledge needed and they can process their emotions in a safe space. During this ongoing global pandemic with its ever-changing rules and regulations, it is even more important for our loved ones to engage in such activities so they can freely express themselves and enjoy a better quality of life during these unprecedented times.