Art and the Aged: The Surprising Benefits of Crafting and Creating for Seniors

Posted on February 24, 2017


The following is a guest post from Harvey Woods, a therapist who believes strongly in the arts and creativity. He writes about creativity and self-care for a better life.



As people age, they sometimes begin to feel like they don’t have a lot of things to keep them happily occupied. They may begin to feel depressed or underappreciated because they no longer contribute, and not having a good hobby can worsen these feelings. 

One of the best ways to keep seniors happily occupied and sharp is to get them into arts and crafts. There are many benefits that older people gain from staying active and creative, and there are plenty of different creative endeavors they can choose from. The benefits of creative hobbies include improved moods, better hand-eye coordination and an outlet for creative expression. Here are a few good creative hobbies that seniors can undertake. 


Coloring may be considered a childhood pastime, but is has actually become very popular with adults over the last few years. The activity allows older people to reap the benefits of creativity, dexterity and self-expression.

Coloring doesn’t require a lot of materials, either. Just a set of crayons or colored pencils and a book with black and white drawings in them. Many bookstores have several different types of coloring books nowadays, from one’s geared toward children to more complicated ones for adults. 

There are even coloring books created for tablets and other mobile devices. This coloring app from Apalon Apps for Android provides all of the benefits of coloring without having to purchase all of the materials. It gives them plenty of drawing and colors to choose from and they can instantly share their pictures with friends and family. 


Another great way for seniors to stay focus and work on their dexterity is to sculpt with clay. There are soft claysthat are designed to be easy to use and versatile enough to create whatever the artist wants. 

These clays are soft enough that people with arthritis or dexterity problems can still work with it. Once they are finished, all they have to do is pop their work into an oven and bake for a short amount of time. The finished work will come out hard and then they can paint it however they wish. 

Sculpting is a great way to work on senior’s creativity and exercise their hands. 


With the ever-present nature of smartphones today, even seniors can take advantage of the built-in camera and try their hand at photography. 

Photography has several benefits for seniors. It’s been shown to boost memory and self-esteem. The best part is that it’s very easy to get into. If they don’t have a smartphone with a camera, they can find very cheap cameras in stores or online to start as soon as possible. F software programs that will allow them to edit their photos to create the perfect one. Sharing photos with family and friends is a great positive as well. 

If you know a senior who could use a little creativity in their life, try one of these hobbies and see how they like it.