In France, adult colour in books are outselling cookbooks. The nursing home residents were very surprised to hear this. 'Really! What types of colouring books?' asked Vicki, one of the ladies there.
This week I ran a volunteer art class at Bupa Willoughby Aged Care with a group of elderly ladies. We were colouring in vintage beach scenes from the 1940's to the 1960's. All were interested to discuss and comment on the pictures: 'Is this a famous actress?' 'Where was this photo taken?' 'I haven't had a waistline like that in years!'
As a group, they had not coloured in since they were children so were very amused to be partaking in this childhood activity. Colouring in pictures is a very relaxing activity for seniors in long term care. It allows the mind to concentrate on the task at hand. It provides a means of utilising dexterity (grip/control) and a venue for self expression; 'what colour goes with blue,' asked one of the ladies.
As the nursing home residents coloured in they talked about what sorts of colours and bathers they wore as young women. 'I had bathers with a belt like that,' said one. Most wore one block colour bathing suits, but a few decided to add polka dots to those of the women they were colouring in, recalling a song that was popular in their youth...'she wore an incy wincy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini!'