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How Engaged Coloring Can Help With Dementia

Coloring is an effective tool in elder care for stimulating seniors with dementia, promoting mental and emotional engagement while encouraging socialization.
Elder care can use coloring to help seniors with dementia stay engaged.
Elder care can use coloring to help seniors with dementia stay engaged.

In recent years, coloring has been seen as an effective tool for helping seniors suffering from dementia. The thought behind this is that focusing on intricate patterns and designs while coloring can be both mentally and emotionally stimulating. It’s an easy activity for elder care workers to use when engaging with seniors while also encouraging them to socialize.

Continue reading to learn more about engaged coloring.


Enhancing Mental Capacity

Concentration and attention to detail are necessary for engaged coloring. As a result, the brain is stimulated, which may help slow down cognitive deterioration. Additionally, cognitive skills related to planning and problem-solving are involved in the process of selecting colors and placing them on the page.


Improving Motor Skills

Coloring requires dexterity and hand-eye coordination since seniors need to hold the crayon and stay inside the lines. For those suffering from dementia, these mild motor exercises can help preserve and possibly improve their motor skills.


Encouraging Calm and Minimizing Stress

In addition to giving seniors a sense of accomplishment, engaged coloring can be a calming pastime that promotes relaxation. Some seniors might also find it to be a kind of meditation, calming the mind and lowering anxiety levels with its repetitive motion and concentration requirements.


Promoting Social Engagement

As mentioned above, social contact and bonding can occur when seniors and elder care or family caregivers color together. Engaging in a shared activity helps lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are prevalent in those with dementia.

Additionally, when seniors are concentrating on coloring, topics they find difficult to talk about become easier because their focus is elsewhere. It is the same idea that’s used in play therapy, where children tend to open up more when playing.


Promoting Expression of Self and Creativity

Engaged coloring also promotes creative expression, which is especially advantageous for seniors with dementia who might have trouble speaking. They can communicate feelings and ideas that they might find hard to put into words by using colors and patterns. This creative activity also gives them satisfaction because they’re able to express what they’re feeling for others to see.


Useful Hints for Engaged Coloring: Getting Seniors on Board

Some seniors might balk at the idea of coloring, but with some gentle encouragement, they often change their minds. To make it more appealing, it’s important to set the right atmosphere by using the following tips:

  • Select the Appropriate Materials: Use large, comfortable-to-hold colored pencils or crayons. Elder care providers and loved ones should also choose coloring books with bold, straightforward designs.
  • Establish a Cozy Environment: The coloring surface should be at the right height for seniors, and they should have comfortable seating. Also, it might be beneficial to have music playing in the background as well as treats to enjoy while coloring.
  • Include Themes: To make engaged coloring more interesting, use coloring books with themes that relate to the senior’s hobbies or decorate with the theme of the coloring pages to make the activity more appealing.



Engaged coloring is a low-tech yet powerful tool that helps seniors with dementia in several ways. It’s also inexpensive, and seniors can do it with loved ones, elder care, friends, and the younger generation.




If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in San Diego, CA, please contact the caring staff at Aaron Home Care. (619) 880-5522

A Trusted Home Care Agency Serving La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Point Loma, San Diego, UTC, La Mesa, Chula Vista, Coronado, Bonita, Eastlake, and the surrounding areas.




Aaron Laney

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