Residents at Saxonwood Care Home in Battle have been creating colourful art to lift their spirits. Jade, Activity Co-ordinator at Saxonwood, shares her story about the positive impact of these arty sessions and emotive feedback from residents.
“The use of colour can be very beneficial in so many ways, can you remember the last time you picked up a crayon or a coloured pen and just coloured? How did it make you feel?
Colouring helps calm the part of the brain responsible for creativity and mediation, therefor, alleviating anxiety and exercising the brain. We discovered that after a colouring activity our residents experienced feeling of inner peace, showed reduced anxiety, and a boost in self-confidence, especially for those residents living with dementia.
Marjorie: It takes me some time to finish a picture or drawing and this can be stressful to me, so, I like to use purple shades as these calm me and helps me to enjoy it.
Vera: If I have colouring pencils it makes me happy.
Introducing regular weekly colouring sessions, has given our residents the opportunity to really focus themselves and their cognition. Through colouring, we have also seen our residents experiencing the benefits of; mental stimulation, creative self-expression, improved cognitive functioning such as concentration, increased confidence and stress relief.
Rosemary: Colouring has a very gentle feeling to it, I like it when I am guided and can really get into it, and this helps me feel secure and familiar.
Vera: Colouring is very good for me, takes me back to my childhood.
The therapeutic value of colouring comes in part from a person’s need to concentrate and in doing so they may ‘forget’ their troubles whilst in the midst of a colouring activity. Relaxation and meditative moods often follow and creating a world of their own, their true identity and a space to be themselves.
Sheila: When I was a child it was during the war, I felt like I didn’t have much of a childhood and had to grow up very quickly, colouring now helps me to feel young and silly and really does give me confidence in myself.
Marjorie: I like to keep my drawings as they help me to feel proud of what I have achieved. I enjoy looking at the colours.
Daphne: My favourite colour is pink, I love to use pink as it takes me to my very own place in my mind.