Are there benefits of coloring for seniors?
You bet there are! And, they are pretty terrific.
VIDEO Coloring Books Helping Seniors:
If you’ve always thought that coloring was just for kids (as most of us did) you’re in for a wonderful surprise!
Coloring, with markers, crayons, colored pencils or even paints is not only enjoyable and relaxing, coloring has many proven benefits for senior citizens.
Here are the top 14.
Coloring activities for seniors are known to:
Yes. All that just from relaxing and coloring in pre-printed patterns. I was amazed when I read that list. Were you also?
Coloring is becoming more and more popular with seniors. Alone and in groups. Take a look at some of the beautiful pictures there are for us to color:
There are plenty of activities for seniors that we can do to engage our brains AND increase our motor skills, coordination, concentration, and focus.
Did you know coloring for seniors includes all of these benefits?
I sure didn’t!
“Playing” with bright colors on a rainy day can really lift the spirits. And, we're never too old. Coloring can boost our creativity and sense of happiness at the same time.
“Playing” this way, and creating beautiful things, can:
How about those for some great benefits?
Coloring is not just for children. It’s a most wonderful pastime for adults, seniors, and even the very elderly as well.
A new study reveals coloring can help to improve mood, reduce stress and boost creativity.
Now, as seniors, we’re not talking about buying a box of Crayola Crayons (remember them?) and a childish book of Super Heroes and other Cartoon Characters. Not at all.
Today coloring has become very popular with adults and seniors of all ages. High quality coloring books (and free downloads) have become increasingly popular and readily available.
These new coloring books and printed downloads are designed with adults and seniors in mind. They have beautiful figures. Often with fine detail. And, when finished , they truly look like a good piece of artwork.
For those with significantly diminished thinking powers, there are many very lovely and very simple patterns to enjoy.
Crayons are still and option. But, we found they are not the usual item used.
Our 242 surveyed seniors told us they usually like to do their coloring
Our seniors told us they love markers the best because the colors are so rich and vibrant. But, colored pencils are popular also on the list.
Coloring books for adults and seniors come in a wide variety of themes, including:
Gorgeous intricate geometric patterns (Mandalas)
And, whatever you choose, they all provide the same wonderful benefits of coloring for seniors.
There are also simple patterns for elderly seniors who may have greatly diminished thinking abilities. And, the benefits of coloring still hold true with these very simple patterns. Here’s a very nice VIDEO that shows us just what they look like:
In our next article, we’ll be showing you where you can pick up some of the best patterns for us seniors to color. And, added bonus, most of them are free.
At the top of this article we made a list of the many benefits we seniors may get from coloring. Now, let’s take a little closer look at these fantastic available benefits of coloring for seniors:
Joel Pearson, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia, tells us that Coloring may shift our minds from negative thoughts we may be thinking to thoughts with positive feelings.
This improves a person’s mood and attitude.
As seniors, and especially as retirees, we’ve reached a time in our lives most of us eagerly waited for. And, retirement can pretty darn awesome.
But, as retired seniors, we also face a bunch of new challenges. These include: more physical considerations, income decline, too much time on our hands (that leads to boredom), reduced social interactions, and various other changing life conditions.
These things can become quite stressful and cause a certain amount unhappiness. Right? Have you experienced any of this yet?
Then later, the feelings of loneliness and isolation are things elderly seniors too often face because of limited abilities and limited mobility.
Did you know that coloring is an amazingly good way to destress? When we are involved in coloring, we tend to forget pains, problems, worries, loneliness, etc… as we focus on something pleasurable in the present moment.
What is “mindfulness”?
It’s one of those new age words that simply means: “Being in present time.” Not living in the past or future. Being here in this moment right now.” And, for lonely seniors, this can sometime be difficult.
Coloring is mentally absorbing. It captures our complete attention. It brings us right into the present moment. And, if you've tried it recently, you know it's quite a Joyful pastime.
That is why coloring is often called an active meditation.
Along with stress often comes anxiety.
Can coloring help with this also?
Well, according to the studies: YES!
“…This research sought to replicate and extend work suggesting that coloring can reduce anxiety, asking whether coloring can improve cognitive performance.…coloring significantly reduced anxiety and increased mindfulness.” reference: “Cognitive and Affective Benefits of Coloring”
In elderly seniors with declining mental abilities, agitation and frustration often follow their inability to remember things. Coloring has been shown to reduce their feeling of anxiety and agitation. But, they need simpler pictures to work on.
In this VIDEO you can see an example of a simple easy coloring book that is perfect for seniors, and very elderly seniors, who may be more challenged:
Beautiful simple easy pictures to color, for those who need an easier adventure. Aren't they?
Motor skills (controlled movements) are a very important asset for us seniors to maintain as we get older. As we get older, and reach our elder years, it often becomes more difficult to control and coordinate our muscles.
Coloring helps to exercise and strengthen the finer muscles of our hands and and arms. With coloring we develop better hand-eye coordination and better dexterity. All these things make our daily tasks easier and more enjoyable.
Here’s a VIDEO showing how well coloring has helped Beth:
“Motor Function” is another fancy term that simply means: Muscle control. Gaining more control on how we move is much like gaining strength. We have to exercise, or, practice these things. Especially as seniors.
With coloring, we control or markers, pencils, and pens quite specifically. Coloring regularly “exercises” our ability to precisely control how we move. This greatly helps with us seniors with our daily tasks.
Things as simple as writing, using a fork and knife, eating a sandwich, brushing our hair, etc…. can be difficult for many of our very elderly seniors. Coloring can help us maintain and gain better motor function.
When we color, we choose the colors for each section, where we place the paper, how hard we press the marker, pencil, or crayon, we concentrate on staying inside the lines.
Coloring deepens focus, concentration, and develops improved attention span.
All of this is of enormous help to elderly seniors in their daily activities and conversations.
We can color by ourselves whenever we want. And, it’s just as relaxing and engrossing as reading a good book.
Some seniors like to get together to spend an afternoon coloring and enjoying each other’s company. Having some tea and yummy things to eat as well. It gives us seniors quality time to chat, catch up, and reminisce as well. Often, those are some of the best benefits!
And, on those dreary rainy days… Some nice bright colors filling up a page create a welcome and cheering activity to share with friends.
For seniors who are more introverted and shy, socializing in coloring groups is much easier because everyone there has their attention on what they are coloring. There is no pressure for conversation. And, the conversation that does happen is more organic and easy to be a part of.
When it comes to our very elderly, coloring in a group on a regular basis may also be the only real social activity some elderly seniors are capable of. It can be the highlight of their week. And, something to happily look forward to each week. Many seniors have told us this socialization is the best of all the benefits they receive.
Concentration and focus are required to color. But, it’s not an intense exhausting concentration and focus. Like trying to drive 80 miles an hour in the rain.
Rather, coloring provides a blissful, peaceful, soothing time of concentration and focus for us seniors. Similar to a gentle meditation. Maybe like the feeling of gently paddling a canoe in a quiet lake.
The benefits of stress release are not only wonderful for all adults of any age in this modern fast paced world we live in, this gentle release is also very important for our elderly seniors with memory impairment. The elderly often suffer from frustration and agitation when they can not remember things.
Coloring provides an environment and activity where these memory challenges don’t interfere with their activity as much. So they can relax. It’s calming and soothing. And, they have a good time!
Coloring provides us seniors with an artistic chance to choose what looks beautiful to each one of us. There is a very satisfied feeling we get when we are able to choose. And, when we can see the results of our own individual choices.
Moreover, for seniors with serious verbal communication limitations, coloring is a way to express feelings and thoughts without having to use words and form sentences.
With coloring we also get to create something of beauty that we can touch, keep, and be proud of. Creating a finished coloring can be extremely validating and joyful for those senior citizens who have limited abilities. A benefit beyond comparison.
Yes. The benefits we senior get from coloring help us with daily problem solving and decision making. Who knew? Right?
“The act of coloring exercises both the right and left sides of the brain, using both logic and creativity. This supports long-term cognitive ability and helps with daily problem-solving and decision-making.” reference: “5 Benefits of Coloring for Older Adults”
After most seniors have been retired for a while, we often find we have too much time on our hands. Am I right? And, this empty time can leads boredom.
“Seniors that are bored are also likely to feel lonely and depressed. In fact, boredom in seniors is detrimental to their brain function.”
As human beings, every one of us, young and old, even very elderly seniors, require mental stimulation daily. Coloring not only gives us pleasure and relief from boredom anytime we want, coloring also engages and stimulates our brains. How about that? These are some of the most important benefits of coloring for seniors.
Time often can seem to pass very quickly when we are coloring. A greater sense of calm and well being develop during, and follow, our time spent enjoying this wonderful pastime.
Another of the often overlooked benefits is: Coloring can provide a
wonderful sense of accomplishment and pride when the project (no matter
how small or simple) is completed.
When most of us finish a piece of coloring, we usually are quite pleased with how beautiful it looks.
But, did you know that for elderly seniors, and those confined to a chair or bed, with little ability to create anything, coloring and finishing a beautiful picture or design provides a great sense of satisfaction and self worth?
This is one of our favorite benefits of coloring for seniors because the joy that comes across some of these sweet faces is heart warming beyond measure.
Going to the park? An appointment in a dull waiting room? Getting your automobile repaired?
One of the great benefits of coloring for seniors is that we can do it anytime and anywhere.
Yes. We can bring a small coloring book anywhere we go. The book and a set of colored markers fit nicely into a purse or jacket pocket.
And, for seniors with limited mobility who may not have access to many activities, coloring is a fantastic choice. It can be enjoyed in any environment, in a wheelchair, or even in bed. Wherever they are. Home, assisted residence, etc…
Pretty fantastic! Right?
Wow. I was personally amazed when we started researching the benefits of coloring for seniors.
If you know any seniors that these benefits would be useful to, why not run off a few of the free outlines for them to fill in? Buy them a little set of fine point colored markers, and you have one of the best gifts ever!
And, by the way, why not give Coloring a try yourself?
Have a Great and Happy Day! ~ William, Fiona, and Charlotte