Coloring Pages - Activities for the Elderly

by Charlene
(Concord, NH)

Coloring Pages for the Elderly

Coloring Pages for the Elderly

I realize that many adult children of elderly loved ones in nursing facilities are alarmed when they find that their parents are being encouraged to color. However, coloring pages are only one aspect of maintaining social interaction among seniors. Coloring pictures also helps to maintain digital dexterity, especially for those often plagued by arthritic flare-ups. Coloring also involves thought and creativity when it comes to choosing colors for those pages.


Coloring pages are an excellent tool to help maintain visual acuity, attention to detail, and creativity for those diagnosed with dementia. Decision-making skills regarding color keep the brain synapses active without overwhelming the individual.

Coloring pages may seem demeaning or child's play to many who don't understand the great value that coloring pages offer to many seniors with a variety of cognitive, physical, visual, and dexterity limiting conditions.

I felt the same way when I first started helping in the activity department at a local nursing home. Wasn't there something more "adult like" to offer our seniors? I was surprised to find that the seniors really enjoyed coloring, especially around the holidays. Their pages were put up on display throughout the nursing home and they took great pleasure out of that.

For many, the smell of the crayons evoked and prompted discussions of their memories of childhood. It was touching to listen to the discussions some of the seniors at the table had while they laughed over old times. The next time you see an elderly person coloring pages, don't shake your head, but smile. They're doing something they enjoy, and it's keeping their brains active and stimulated at the same time

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Coloring Pages has Helped My Aunt's Hands
by: Sherry

Like several others responding to this post, I felt the same way when I saw my elderly aunt coloring in the activity room.

Still, despite her often painful rheumatoid arthritis, it seems that her fingers are now stronger than they used to be.

I asked the activity director at the nursing home about it, and she said that the action of holding a crayon has actually strengthened my auntie's fingers and wrist.

Because the nursing home provides a variety of other crafts for the seniors there, I no longer mind when I see her coloring. It not only brings her enjoyment, but seems to be helping with her finger and hand dexterity and mobility.

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Coloring Pages of Birds in a Coloring Book
by: Anonymous

To be honest, I was disappointed the day I walked into my mother's room and saw her coloring pages in a book about wild birds.

Surely, her time could have been used better, but then I realized that she was taking the time to look in her bird book and match the coloring of the actual birds to those in the coloring pages - exactly.

I was impressed.

The coloring was getting her thinking, and comparing, something that she hadn't done in quite a while since she'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

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Coloring Pages - Poster Style Pages
by: Karen

I felt the same way when I first saw Grandma in the nursing home activity room coloring pictures.

She has dementia, but she seemed perfectly content to be coloring different subjects, and it wasn't out of the preschooler's coloring book either.

It was one of those larger poster-style crafts that are popular, and her ability to choose the right colors for the patterns on the poster board really impressed me.

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