If you thought that coloring was just for kids, it’s time to think again! Coloring can be both enjoyable and relaxing for adults, and it has some notable benefits — especially for seniors.
No one is suggesting that you go out and buy a box of crayons and a childish coloring book featuring simple cartoon characters or super heroes. In the past few years, coloring books designed especially for adults have become increasingly popular. The pages in these books take into account an adult’s greater attention span, more developed fine motor skills, and capacity to appreciate detail.
Coloring books for adults come in a variety of themes, from nature to music to intricate patterns. Chances are that you can find something that appeals to your inner artist!
The Benefits of Coloring for Seniors
1. Coordination and muscle control. As we age, it becomes more difficult to control and coordinate the muscles of our arms and hands. Coloring can help to exercise and strengthen these muscles. It can contribute to better hand-eye coordination, greater dexterity, and over-all strengthening of fine motor skills. This can make many routine daily activities a little easier.
2. Stress relief. Coloring is a great way to de-stress, forget about pain or other ailments, and focus on something pleasurable in the moment. The focus and concentration required to color promote mindfulness, which is a powerful technique to lower stress levels. Reducing stress can help to keep blood pressure and heart rate at healthy levels, so coloring may actually contribute to better health.
Stress relief is also important for seniors who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. They may feel frustrated and agitated by their memory issues. Coloring can provide them with an activity where these challenges don’t limit them as much.
3. Self-expression. Seniors who are recovering from a stroke or who are dealing with memory issues or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease may have trouble with verbal communication. Coloring is a way to express their thoughts and feelings without having to use words.
4. Social opportunities. Although coloring alone is perfectly enjoyable, it’s also a great excuse to spend some time enjoying the company of others. Some seniors enjoy gathering regularly to color together. It gives them the chance to catch up and to reminisce. It’s also a great activity to share with grandchildren of any age!
If you or a loved one are looking for a relaxing, enjoyable activity, why not give coloring a try?
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