Visiting Angels, Punta Gorda Blog

Coloring: It's Not Just For Kids

What was once an activity that kept many of us busy as children, has resurfaced as a trend that many adults, especially older adults, are coming to rediscover and love. Adult coloring books initially took off in 2015. Four years later, the trend continues to remain strong. You can find adult coloring books just about anywhere today, from bookstores to craft stores, and grocery stores to drug stores. Adult coloring books are even crowding the bestseller lists, especially books that feature Hollywood stars or nostalgic scenes. What’s even more surprising is that coloring-book groups are popping up all over the U.S. Many libraries, cafes, and senior centers host weekly or monthly Elderly woman coloringadult coloring groups, where adults gather to simply color. You don’t even have to leave your home in order to find an adult coloring group; many groups have formed via social media and welcome new members daily.

It’s interesting how an activity that was once used as a distraction so that mom could finish making dinner for her family is now becoming more and more popular with older adults. Adult coloring has been studied and researched, and the results continue to show that coloring can help redirect negative thoughts and emotions in older adults. There are other brain boosting benefits too. Below are four benefits of coloring for older adults.

Coloring Lowers Stress and Decreases Anxiety

As older adults color, their brains experience relief by entering a meditative state. It takes time and focus to color a scenic picture. This helps older adults remove the focus from negative issues and habits to being present as they carefully color their picture, focusing on staying within the boundaries of the image. Older adults who have a dementia diagnosis can find help coping with agitation and aggressive behavior through coloring. For someone with dementia, coloring is very distracting and calming. It’s also an activity that they probably did often as a child, therefore it’s more of a muscle-memory activity where they do not need to utilize the deteriorating portions of their brain due to their dementia diagnosis. Research shows that coloring has therapeutic elements that reduce anxiety and brings about more mindfulness, regardless of age or mental state.

Coloring Enhances Focus

The effort and attention it takes to color intricate patterns typically found in adult coloring books helps older adults enhance their focus and concentration abilities. Coloring utilizes the frontal lobe, the area of the brain that is responsible for higher levels of activities and functions. As an older adult chooses complex color schemes and strives to make their picture aesthetically pleasing, they are exercising their problem solving and organizational skills.

Coloring Improves Brain Power

Along with enhancing focus and concentration, coloring also improves the brain power of an older adult. Adult coloring is an activity that not only utilizes the frontal lobe of the brain, it is an activity that utilizes both hemispheres of the brain. As an older adult thinks about balance and color choices, they are triggering many neurons that fire back and forth across both hemispheres of their brain. Then, as they apply the color pencil to their paper, they are working their fine motor skills. Depending on the intricacy of the design, older adults also exercise their problem-solving skills. They may choose to start coloring an easier pattern and work their way up to the more challenging aspects of the image.

Coloring Offers a Boredom Buster

Many older adults, especially those that live alone, often find themselves bored and lonely throughout their day. Boredom and lack of structure can lead to depression if not kept in check. Adult coloring helps bust boredom in older adults as it provides a way for them to escape. When an older adult colors, they are focused on the present moment, instead of sitting around in an idle state where their thoughts can wander towards negativity. Some older adults find that their day passes more quickly when they color, as it easily engrosses them for hours on end. Others enjoy being able to tap into memories of childhood where life was simpler and happier. Adult coloring can even help an older adult find new friends as they participate in adult coloring groups in their community.

Perhaps you are a senior who is looking for more companionship to help brighten your day, or maybe you care for an aging loved one and are looking for ways to help them stay engaged throughout their day in the comfort of their own home. Visiting Angels Punta Gorda understands the challenges many older adults face as they age and desire to remain at home. Fortunately, we provide a wide range of home care services to meet your individual needs. Our compassionate caregivers and dignity-first approach have made us the trusted, local choice for home care families in Punta Gorda and the surrounding areas. To get started with exceptional care, contact us today by calling 941-347-8288 Punta Gorda or 239-226-1620 Lee County.

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