Why We Should Get Our Seniors Coloring

Less and less people now believe that coloring is only for children. Last holiday time it was most likely that whilst the young would be hoping to get a tablet or games console as a gift, their mother would be delighted to receive a set of gel pens and an adult coloring book.


Not only are adults now returning to the fun of coloring, but this also includes many of our seniors.  No longer do professionals creating activities for them need to worry that providing coloring activities will be viewed as a childish activity.


Even more significantly, research now shows that coloring has major potential benefits for the elderly and those with dementia.  The main reasons are:

  • Coloring can evoke pleasant childhood memories and encourages
    socializing and reminiscing in a group
  • There is no “wrong” way to color so all abilities can do it.
  • Many seniors live a solitary life and coloring can keep them
    entertained for hours.
  • It helps the older generation to maintain motor skills and hand-eye
    coordination.
  • Coloring can improve their mood.
  • It can provide an outlet for self-expression for those who have maybe
    lost their speech through a stroke or other conditions.
  • Creates improved dexterity and grip control.
  • People with dementia can get a positive outcome from coloring,
    in particular a notable decrease in agitation and anxiety.
  • It is a good exercise to improve hand-eye coordination
  • Coloring is relaxing and the need to concentrate to a degree can cause
    a participant to forget their troubles whilst engrossed.
  • Even a small finished picture can give a great sense of pride and
    achievement.

Before rushing off to buy an adult coloring book for a senior friend or relative there are, however, certain things to consider.

Many of the designs today are surreal and abstract which could be confusing and frustrating to a mind having difficulties. So anything that might cause agitation or anger is not a good idea. Good choices are subjects they could be interested in. For example, dogs and cats, wild animals, flowers, old cars, gardens, buildings etc. Something they can relate to in their past perhaps.

It is also important to avoid something too intricate for those who maybe do not see as well as they used to.

Try to find good quality paper so that they can use a variety of coloring media. Gel pens are a great addition to today’s choice and come in vibrant colors and with special effects like glitter and metallic pens.

We are also finding, in particular, that the seniors enjoy coloring greeting cards. A card can be completed quickly so they can get a sense of accomplishment from one session. They also come from a generation who still remember birthdays without a reminder from Facebook. And they still love any reason to send a personal greeting card to someone in the mail.

So let’s help promote creativity in the older generation. Why not involve their granchildren in the activity or perhaps arrange to start a weeky group in a local care home.