Coloring fun is not just for children. It can actually help seniors socialize, relax and stimulate their brain. Seniors can benefit in many ways from coloring in pictures of familiar themes:
- Using crayons or colored pencils enhances hand-eye coordination and dexterity. Picking up and moving a crayon purposefully promotes connectivity between the brain and fine motor skills.
- It is a chance for self-expression.
- It provides a great way to reminisce.
- It is a great way to practice staying on task.
- The activity eases the stresses of the day.
- Coloring pictures provides a sense of accomplishment.
Especially in the case of seniors with Alzheimer’s or who have recently suffered a stroke, coloring in pictures can help memory retention and word-picture association. For example, coloring in a basket of fruit can bring back memories of their youth.
When several seniors get together and color, there is often a sense of companionship and laughter, just as there was when they were children coloring in pictures of their favorite superheroes and cartoon characters. Even the smell of crayons is associated with pleasant, carefree childhood recollections. This is often a welcome escape from the pain of chronic medical conditions.
Giving seniors a blank piece of paper may actually be overwhelming. A coloring book that is overly simplistic or confusing (as in abstract topics) may seem either too daunting or too boring. But a detailed, age-appropriate coloring book interests them much more. Coloring books are now available that are actually geared to older adults.
Currently, coloring pages with more complicated designs are at the top of best seller lists (such as Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden: an Inky Treasure Hunt & Coloring Book). Young and middle aged adults who want to relax love them; so do seniors.
Choose themes with subject matter that they can relate to, like landscapes, gardening (especially if they like to garden) or classic paintings.
A box of colored pencils is ideal. These are less childish and messy than wax crayons, although thicker crayons can be gripped easily.
Coloring is also a fun inter-generational activity that can be shared with grandchildren, or even adult children. Seniors might enjoy talking about the colors and designs they are working on, while reminiscing about the past.
Home Care Assistance of Fort Worth can provide and encourage your senior with a variety of creative and therapeutic arts resources. Our in-home caregivers will encourage activities that allow them to express their ideas and develop coordination skills.