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How Art Keeps Your Brain Feeling Young

Older hands work on painting and adding glaze to pottery pieces on the table

As children, most of us weren’t shy about expressing our creativity, whether it was finger painting, making clay ashtrays, or drawing self-portraits with sidewalk chalk. But as adults, we’re often quick to shy away from creative pursuits because we’re afraid of “not doing it right.”

Here’s the thing. Art has no rules, and there’s no right or wrong way to create it. In fact, the numerous benefits of art for seniors have been well documented. Read on to explore some of the ways experiencing art is so beneficial for brain health. Then try your hand at some art therapy ideas for seniors. From pencils to paint, clay, woodworking, stamping, and more, making art really can keep your brain feeling young!


 7 Benefits of Art for Seniors


  • Boosts your cognitive skills Following directions, choosing colors and materials, and working with intricate details are all great for keeping your brain firing on all cylinders.
  • Increases your creative imagination Making something from nothing requires using your imagination and vision to see it in your head and then bring it to life. That’s excellent brain training.
  • Improves physical/motor skills Working with scissors, paint, glue, and especially your hands to punch holes, connect pieces, etc., are all great for boosting your fine motor skills.
  • Promotes socialization and communication One of the best things about making art is that you get to chat while you create. The social group dynamic is supportive, energizing, and loads of fun.
  • Helps keep stress and depression at bay Getting out of your apartment and out of your comfort zone are both excellent “medicine” for your emotional health.
  • Helps you forget pain/illness for a time  When you’re focused on something you enjoy, somehow the aches and pains melt away, at least for a time. That feels pretty darn good.
  • Promotes self-esteem Remember how proud you were as a child to announce, “I made it myself?” Trust us, it still feels just as good to say that about the art you make as a senior!


Art Therapy Ideas for Seniors 

There are all kinds of ways to get crafty, so forget the old excuse about not being able to draw a straight line! Today’s forward-thinking senior living communities like Crestwood Manor offer a full slate of art classes in fully equipped art studios. Art classes here are enthusiastically attended by both men and women. There are also art classes available at local community centers and even online if you prefer to create on your own. 

Keep in mind though that one of the joys of an art experience and one of the most important benefits of art for seniors is the social aspect. You and your friends can learn something new together and applaud each other’s efforts. That can make for some fun shared memories.

Stuck for ideas on what kind of art you might like? Find your perfect match here:

If you like to:  Work with your hands and don’t mind getting messy                  

Try this:  Sculpting on a pottery wheel 


If you like to: Spend time outside with nature                                                    

Try this: Plein-air (art of outdoor painting) class


If you like to: Create one-of-a-kind gifts                                                             

Try this: Jewelry making


If you like to: Do puzzles of all kinds                                                                    

Try this: Mosaic tile making


If you like to: Create things from scratch                                                             

Try this: Handmade greeting cards and stamping


Create Your Best Life at Crestwood Manor

We’ve got the wonderful life you’ve been searching for — from our beautiful, inspiring surroundings to the great array of independent living options to the invaluable security of our continuum of care. And we haven’t even touched on the full slate of activities and classes right outside your apartment door. We’d love to show you around, so get in touch, and let’s schedule a tour so you can learn more!

Need information? Right this way.

Let’s connect.

If you have questions or comments about Crestwood Manor, we’re here to help.

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