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Seniors Getting Crafty with Cecile

Aug 22, 2017 by Tracy Kelley

Artistic creation of any kind is beneficial for seniors. See the details of the senior crafting group Comfort Keepers’ Cecile Morgrage leads at Brookdale Oakbridge in Lakeland.

Research has shown the benefits of artistic endeavors for all age groups, especially for seniors, and as senior home care providers, we can attest to that fact. Making art of any kind allows for expression and the exploration of emotions, so it’s no wonder it’s beneficial. Comfort Keepers’ Cecile Morgrage is keeping the artist’s brush sharpened with a crafting group at the Brookdale Oakbridge assisted living facility in Lakeland, Florida. Explore the details of the crafting circle’s efforts and why art is so beneficial for overall wellness.

Cecile’s Senior Crafting Group

Cecile shares that her group is popular with the senior residents at Brookdale Oakbridge as well as the facility staff.  “We focus on making cards with decorative and designer paper, which the resident love,” she says. “Our group is growing.”

They meet every third Thursday of the month at the assisted living facility in Lakeland, and Cecile and her senior crafting group make cards for about an hour. Participants benefit from the contact with other members and through the artistic expression.

The Value of Art for Seniors

Studies show that all types of artistic expression have benefits for senior participants. According to an article on Today’sGeriatricMedicine.com, art has a host of benefits for everyone, such as:

  • Inducing both psychological and physiological healing.
  • Enhancing quality of life.
  • Nurturing overall well-being.

In addition, multiple studies have found health benefits for seniors who take part in an artistic endeavor. For instance, many studies indicate that art can lower the depression and anxiety that are often of symptoms of chronic diseases that increase as we age. Furthermore, other studies show that art can give older participants a feeling of purpose and importance, even for those suffering from illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease.

In terms of benefits just for the brain, studies have shown that producing art actually makes the brain produce new neural pathways (a function of learning and memory) and strengthens nerves in the brain called dendrites. Creating art can essentially help improve cognitive function, even in elderly individuals suffering from diseases or conditions that affect the brain, like dementia or stroke patients.

In terms of emotional and mental well-being, the article maintains that art has been proven to have the following benefits for seniors:

  • helping individuals relax;
  • providing a sense of control;
  • reducing depression and anxiety;
  • assisting in socialization;
  • encouraging playfulness and a sense of humor;
  • improving cognition;
  • offering sensory stimulation;
  • fostering a stronger sense of identity;
  • increasing self-esteem;
  • nurturing spirituality; and
  • reducing boredom.

A caregiver or home health aide can help seniors reap the benefits of art by taking them to participate in crafting events at places such as a senior center, library, or local YMCA.  They can also start art projects in the home which is especially helpful if the senior in question is home-bound. For more information about our team at Comfort Keepers, click here, or call us at 863-292-6199.

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