Coloring Pages - Activities 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