Art relaxes the mind and is so called to be “food for the Soul”. Art has been a big part of human history since the beginning of our society. Dating back to the times we lived in caves, the earliest works of art can found on the cave walls. It is a skill deeply engrave us that we used to communicate and record or thoughts and history, even before verbal language was invented.

So it is only natural for us to express and relax through artistic activities like painting, singing or dancing. But unfortunately, for patients suffering from dementia, expressing themselves becomes difficult because symptoms can range from problems in language, speech, memory, personality, and mobility. The inability to express themselves leads to aggression, frustration, anxiety and eventually depression.

But luckily, activities like painting can help patients with dementia as it has been proven and shown in many studies conducted by scientists. Now let’s look at how painting helps!

Focus: When we are painting, we are deeply focused to get the color right, to get the correct brush strokes. Dementia patients find it hard to concentrate so painting daily can be a good concentration practice for them, as it helps the brain get in the alpha brainwave state, which eventually activates neurotransmitters that help with learning and memory.

Expression: As we discussed before, dementia patients find it hard to express themselves which might make them irritated, and angry at small things. So, art can be a creative outlet to let out their emotions and show how they feel.

Activity: Since dementia leads to speech and mobility problems, painting is a good way to stay active and use the brain. Daily activity is very beneficial and improves symptoms of immobility.

Motivation: After completing the painting, the sense of satisfaction and achievement one gets is unexplainable. The painting will help patients feel motivated to see the end result and then feel proud of their creation. It also activates the feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain related to happiness and triumph.

Bonding: Painting with children can help dementia patients feel close to their family and bond with children.

Paint by Numbers as Art Therapy for Dementia Patients

The DIY Paint by Numbers kit can prove to be quite helpful and a good choice for dementia patients. There are many reasons why paint by number is the best choice for dementia patients:

  • No prior art experience needed. Even if you are picking up the paintbrush after ages, you won’t have to worry about how your painting will look like.
  • Paint by Numbers is super easy to use and you just need to follow the number guide.
  • Paints are already mixed and numbered. You just have to match the numbers and paint between the lines!
  • It comes with paint brushes, no need to go around finding your old brushes or going to the shop for new ones.
  • The canvas is also prepared, the drawing outlined and numbered on it.
  • You can choose a painting from 1000+ designs available, for dementia patients you can get simple ones, with bigger spaces, making it easier to fill.
  • There is an option to get custom paint by number kits with a picture of your choice! You can choose something nostalgic, or a picture of a loved one or even your favorite place to make you feel happier while you paint.

Paint by number has been shown to help improve the emotional and behavioral challenges dementia patients face as it influences many neural regions in the brain. Therefore, it will also prove helpful for the caregivers and family members of dementia patients. 

It can be the best gift for your suffering loved one to help them find comfort in art. Creativity is something that everyone has. What we need is an outlet or some way to express it. And there's no better way to do that than painting. You can use different colors to express emotions, different scenes to tell a story or just use the strokes to let out the pent-up frustration. When the painting is done, step back and be proud of your creation.

Author's Bio: 

Born in Bethpage NY in 1987 and still live in NY. I have a few oil paintings listed on I LOVE DIY ART. What they do is convert paintings into paint by number kits and lets everyone start painting their own masterpieces.