How Painting Can Benefit Older Adults

Are you looking for an easy way to relax, and support your physical and mental wellbeing as you age? Why not dip your toe (or brush) into the beneficial world of painting! Here are a few ways that getting out your easel can do a world of good.


Studies show that creative activities can have a profoundly positive impact on our emotional wellbeing. When we focus on an activity like painting, our stress levels decrease in a similar way to when we meditate. If we paint in a group setting (like a class or workshop) the emotional benefits are even greater! In these settings we might practice self-expression, create friendships, and feel a sense of pride in our finished piece, all of which help combat feelings of isolation, depression, and loneliness.


So, we know that painting can have a great positive impact on us emotionally, but what about physically? Well, there is a lot of small-scale movement, balance, and dexterity involved in painting. Depending on your painting, you might stipple the canvas, roll a foam roller, use long sweeping motions, or employ fine, intricate swipes. All of these unique and varied movements help us build our hand-eye coordination, and hone our fine motor skills. But even further than that, these movements can act as fantastic, low-impact therapy for older adults with arthritis or joint stiffness!

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Did you know that engaging in art can also improve our cognitive function? Regularly focusing on a single creative task (like painting), and letting ourselves ‘get in the zone’ can sharpen our senses, and stimulate lesser-used areas of the brain. Also, studies have shown that painting can ward off cognitive decline, and slow the progression of dementia and memory loss. Why? Because to paint, we’ll often rely on our memories. For example, imagine you’ve just picked up a paintbrush loaded with green acrylic paint. You’re lifting your bush to the canvas, and decide you’d like to paint a tree—what do you do next? Chances are, you’ll visualise a tree from memory. This process is like a bicep curl for the brain, strengthening the pathways that help us access memories more easily.

Here at After-Care, we provide quality home care services to older adults and people living with disability. So, if you’d like assistance with domestic care, gardening, or even some help with painting, we’ve got you covered. Click here to learn more and contact us today!