Imagination and creativity can flourish in older adults, and you don’t have to be a master artist to have fun and create something beautiful. At the assisted living facility where my client Jill lived, an arts and crafts group that she started to beat boredom, became a hit.
“We had to get a bigger room to meet in,” Jill chuckled. “And it’s not just women. We have men in there too now, drawing and painting with oils. Some people just enjoy coloring in adult coloring books. We have a group who do needlework, along with knitters and crocheters. We have a lot of variety.”
Jill had been an art teacher and was familiar with all kinds of crafts, from making resin jewelry to glass mosaics. But the first project that the group tried was acrylic pouring, something Jill had never done herself.
“Our canvases didn’t come out like the ones in the videos,” Jill said. “It was kind of a mess. If you pour too much paint, it looks like mud. We learned what NOT to do that week.” But most importantly, the group had fun together. They forgot about their aches and pains while they worked on a project. The weekly group gave them something to look forward to and they perused art supply catalogs during the week for ideas and supplies.
“Everyone has some talent,” Jill told the seniors in her group. Even participants with poor vision or arthritic hands found something creative they wanted to tackle. “You don’t have to be Michelangelo. I don’t expect anything we make will end up in a museum or an art gallery. The point is to have fun.”
Besides being fun, being creative can improve your mood and your cognitive function. It’s a positive way to exercise your brain and reduce stress and boredom. And you might even surprise yourself with what you can make.
“I made some really nice coasters using alcohol inks on tile,” one participant said. “I never did that before. I’m looking forward to making more at the next group!”
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at (203) 258-2640 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to assist!