Helping those with dementia

Dementia is a disease characterised by cognitive degeneration beyond the effects of normal ageing. Affecting memory, mood, physical capabilities, language, and judgement it is essential to guarantee safe and nurturing practice.

With no current cure to the disease, research has explored the many ways of benefiting those experiencing dementia when thinking about activities for care home residents. Previously we have spoken about the advantages of bilingualism slowing the onset. It is also well documented that music can improve well-being and encourage physical activity. With these in mind we are now going to explore the benefits of colouring and arts and crafts.

Arts and crafts at Stanfield Nursing Home

When planning such activities for care home residents it is important to recognise the advantages and limitations. Though physical exercise may be healthy and a definite mood booster, it is not a practical or considerate option to remain inclusive of all persons. Sensitivity to most people’s capabilities, whilst catering to those who may be more able, is a main priority in our person-centred nursing home.

With this in mind, arts and crafts provides a great way for people to unwind and enjoy themselves. It serves as a creative expression of thoughts and feelings in a relaxing environment. Our activities coordinator ensures that there is at least one arts and crafts session each week. Activities range from moulding play dough and colouring in books to seasonal specials such as Christmas card crafting and stocking making last month!

The research

Anxiety can interfere with a person’s everyday life. It is more common in people with dementia than those without, affecting between 5% and 20%. Therefore it should not be ignored when arranging activities for care home residents. Recent studies have identified a significant reduction of anxiety based on the time spent colouring. In a care home this should be considered as a very useful form of expression to improve comfort and general happiness. It is also not viewed as infantilising, when adopted within a holistic approach, as some have often commented to the range of experiences a person may enjoy.

A second study has also highlighted the value attached to colouring enhancing well-being. Mindfulness is the practice of allowing ourselves to become more aware of our present moment and the thoughts and feelings attached to it. The sense of mindfulness and connection to oneself is a useful tool to implement in activities for care home residents when regarding mental health. Furthermore, doing mindful colouring was identified as ‘taking time’ to practice self-reflection, self-awareness and self-care to promote physical, emotional and social well-being.

Contacting Stanfield Nursing Home

If you are interested in finding out more information about our arts and crafts activities for care home residents then head to our website today. Alternatively, you can visit our social media for daily updates on activities in our home or call 01905 420 459 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.


Dresler, E., & Perera, P. (2019). ‘Doing mindful colouring’: just a leisure activity or something more?. Leisure Studies, 1-13.

Holt, N. J., Christopher, G., & McClean, S. (2019). Can colouring improve the mood and
concentration of older adults? Developing a research study.

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