Art In Its Many Forms Helps Individuals Heal And Improves Their Well-Being In A Variety Of Ways
Pegasus skilled in-home caregivers in Los Angeles and elsewhere customize their services to fit individual needs. Their goal is to improve their patients’ well-being and quality of life. Career home health care nurses understand how art in its many forms can promote healing.
Art is a creative activity in which individuals express how they think and feel. It is often visual, such as painting. Other artists choose movement like dancing or music, which can include singing.
Artists use different materials and techniques in meaningful ways. Writing, photography, sculpture, floral arranging, and weaving are common examples of artwork. Their creations are based on their imagination and ideas.
Art helps individuals cope with adversity and find solutions. Some of your patients may be having difficulty with today’s political climate, finances, or COVID, among other worries. Engaging in creative activity helps to ground them and improve their outlook.
Art Aids Healing In Many Ways
Since time immemorial, people have created art. Regardless of how individuals communicate through artistic endeavors, they benefit. Art has historically proven valuable as a healing force.
Patients expressing themselves creatively may reduce the need for medications. Additionally, they experience:
- Decreased infection rates
- Fewer visits to healthcare professionals
- Improvement in their self-esteem and quality of life
- Reduced levels of anxiety, stress, and depression
- Shorter stays in hospitals and fewer medical interventions
Improvements in a loved one’s well-being also benefit their families.
The healing ability of art comes from the connection between mind and body. Creative activity uses both. That creative connection serves to dispel worry, fear, and anxiety.
Individuals do not have to be expert artists to create personal art. Their creations are a unique expression of what’s going on in their minds and bodies. The result may or may not be pleasing to the eye, but either way, it’s healing.
That’s because the person uses lines, colors, techniques, or materials to depict what they can’t put in words. They may be in a place of darkness or trying to cope with frightening circumstances. Art allows them to release that in a safe and non-threatening way.
Art Improves Communication
As a home health care nurse, you may want to encourage your patient to try art. They can start with the simplest of materials if they wish. The act of creating is often more important than how it’s done.
If your patient is frail, you may play the role of artist for them. That is, they direct you in creating their vision. They’re still achieving healing because they’re expressing what’s within them.
Some of those you care for may be traumatized, have special needs, or otherwise non-verbal. Art allows them to communicate. Veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) especially benefit from non-verbal communication.
Cognitively impaired individuals also respond positively to art. The visual arts, in particular, stimulate brain function. Potential improvements include increased vocabulary and memory skills.
Some individuals will be better able to keep their train of thought. Creating, or even looking at, art releases dopamine and serotonin, which improves a person’s mood. Art can be calming and reduce their agitation.
Encourage families to provide a workspace where their loved one can create their art. Keeping it clean and well-organized helps generate healing pride in their efforts. It also provides you with a positive atmosphere in which to care for the individual.
Looking At Artworks Can Be Healing
Although healing through creating something is well-documented, you may not know that looking at art is also beneficial. Most of the research so far has been in hospitals, but it’s applicable to home settings. Patients in rooms with views of nature recovered faster and required less pain medication.
Health care institutions have begun hanging art, often of nature scenes, in rooms. Others use scenic videos. Pictures and videos have proven as beneficial as looking out a window at nature.
You can help family caregivers include healing art in your patient’s surroundings. It should be something that the individual finds beautiful or makes them feel happy. Sites like art.com have extensive selections of prints, often inexpensively priced.
Art can also be a big part of your self-care. Both creating and viewing something beautiful help relieve stress. Art serves to reduce the likelihood of burnout for many caregivers.
Professional Art Therapy Helps Individuals Heal
Art therapy is the formal use of art for healing. Professional art therapists divide the process into art as therapy and art in therapy. Art as therapy emphasizes the creative activity, not the appearance of the finished work.
Art in therapy concentrates on the meaning of the created work rather than what the individual felt when making it. You may wish to refer your patient to a licensed art therapist or become credentialed yourself.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our in-home caregivers in Los Angeles and our other locations encourage the use of art to promote healing. Our career home health care nurses know that creating or looking at art improves the well-being of their patients.