senior woman sculpting clay

Making and viewing art can help you stay young, at least in spirit. People who maintain their creativity as they age seem to maintain a child-like sense of appreciation for the world, and that appreciation for life and creation is reflected in their health and well-being. Art provides many benefits for seniors, which is why it’s wise for seniors, or those who care for them, to find ways to express themselves through art. Here are a few of the many reasons why an artistic release is good at any age, but especially in later years.

Empowerment

If you’ve ever painted a picture or written a poem, you know that having a vision and making it a reality is empowering. Viewing your hard work fills you with a sense of accomplishment. Art allows you to both express yourself and discover who you are and what you value, which can in turn increase your sense of self and boost your self-esteem. Art drives a sense of purpose, growth, and self-awareness. As you engage in creating art, you’re both more aware of your mind and your body, and you’re able to channel that awareness into your creation. Seniors who at times feel lonely, neglected, or even ignored can find an outlet for expression, voice, and action through art.

Stress Relief

Art is shown to relieve stress and anxiety. The physical element helps the body to release tension, and the creative element engages and exercises the mind. Art is also shown to help with socialization, allowing seniors to join with others members of the community to create. Social activity helps to reduce stress and the likelihood for depression. Producing art is also a good way to increase motivation and to combat boredom.

Skills

Art helps your mind in more ways than simply relieving stress. Participating in and creating art is also proven to improve motor skills and to develop stronger problem solving skills. Working clay in your hands or directing a paintbrush across a canvas requires hand-eye coordination, and those who regularly create pieces of art gradually begin to improve these skills.

Art promotes independence by allowing seniors to cultivate a greater sense of self and power through creation. And that creativity, energy, and independence carries into all other aspects of their daily life and self-care.

If you don’t consider yourself much of an artist, that’s okay. Find a medium that works for you, and don’t pressure yourself to be a Picasso. Simply have fun with it, and reap the wonderful benefits.