The use of coloring in memory care is a relatively new addition to the field. Still, for those living in memory care centers, it has provided some much-needed mental stimulation. In addition, studies have shown that this activity can benefit people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. The blog post below will give you 11 ways memory care residents can benefit from coloring.
1.) Helps Improve Mood
Coloring can be a great way to improve mood and provide a sense of comfort for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. For example, studies have found that it helps boost serotonin levels in the brain, which is directly related to improved mood. In addition, it can promote social interactions and happiness among those participating rather than sadness among those who are not. Coloring has also been found to reduce pain because it requires that the participant remain engaged in the activity.
2.) Reduces Agitation
Many people struggling with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia can experience agitation at various times during the day. They may become so agitated that they lose any desire to participate in activities. The coloring sessions are a great way to get them out of their room, where they may be frustrated or feeling uncomfortable, and into different surroundings where they can regain their good mood.
3.) Increases Interaction
One of the benefits of respite care, independent living, and memory care living arrangements is that they allow seniors to spend time with others. Coloring with someone else provides social interaction, which can help prevent isolation. This activity can also help to improve communication skills. It may even be useful for one person to act as a guide while someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia colors to enhance this interaction.
4.) Improves Dexterity
Many people with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia find it difficult to use their hands, whether holding a paintbrush or crayons. Coloring with glasses and fingers is a great way for someone to improve dexterity in their hands and help them feel more comfortable moving their fingers. It can even be used as a form of therapy for those who have arthritis or other joint problems.
5.) Promotes Creativity
Many seniors find that they have lost the ability to be creative. Coloring can be a great way to bring out their creativity and even help them begin to develop new skills. Several studies have found that those who do not typically use their creative skills tend to perform poorly on tests of creative thinking. This is why coloring can be so beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia, as it allows them to create something without worrying about being judged for the outcome.
6.) Promotes a Sense of Well-Being
One of the best things about coloring is that it can help bring out a sense of well-being in those who are participating. In fact, it can have an even greater effect than other activities such as listening to music or watching television. Some studies have found that certain types of coloring can cause an increase in blood flow to the brain and serotonin production, both of which are key to improved mood and happiness.
7.) Promotes Organization
Coloring can be a great way to promote organization skills and enhance memory. For example, those with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia may struggle to remember how to fill in the blanks in a coloring book. However, when they group the same color crayons together, they can develop a new form of organization that reduces frustration while providing them with something to accomplish during the activity.
8.) Keeps Seniors Active
Many adults with Alzheimer’s disease experience depression, which can cause them to stop participating in activities and lead to even more suffering. Coloring can be a great way for adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia to stay active, which can help fight against this problem. It also ensures they remain engaged in the community so they do not feel alone.
9.) Helps Reduce Anxiety
Not all those who live in memory care homes experience anxiety, but those who do find it difficult to cope with the stress of their daily lives. Coloring can be unexpectedly helpful for some seniors, as it can provide them with a form of comfort. In addition, some studies have found that coloring activity helps to reduce anxiety and is comparable to many types of psychotherapy.
10.) Helps Maintain Motor Function
A coloring book can be a great way to maintain motor function for adults with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. It can also help those who have arthritis or other joint problems because they are able to use their fingers while they color, which can be a relatively simple form of therapy. Coloring requires the person to remain active so that their hands and fingers continue working properly
11.) Helps to Improve Memory and Cognition
Many adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia struggle with memory loss. Multiple studies have found that coloring can help improve cognitive functioning, and some have even found that it helps prevent the loss of cognitive ability. For example, one study found that those who participated in coloring activities experienced a 30 percent improvement in cognitive functioning over those who did not. Coloring also helps to maintain brain health over the long term, which is especially important as we age.
Coloring can be a great way for adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia to remain active and engaged in the community. It can also help to improve your mood and address some of the struggles associated with this condition. This is why seniors must have access to coloring materials, especially those living in memory care facilities. It can also be a great activity for seniors who live independently. It encourages them to interact with others and allows them to create something without worrying about being judged for their skills.