How Can Mood-Boosting Coloring Books Help People with Alzheimer’s?

Certain activities can help in preventing and slowing down the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, which is a disease that affects the cognitive ability and memory of a lot of seniors. Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease, as it impairs the thought processes and memories of the elderly or older adults. The disease can even affect the patient’s family emotionally, as he or she will not remember the names of loved ones, and he or she may even mistake family members or friends for a stranger or another person.

So, in order to slow down Alzheimer’s, seniors would need to participate in different activities that can help stimulate their brains and their entire nervous system. One of these activities is using crayons or colored pencils to color mood-boosting coloring books, which are popular today amongst children and younger adults. 

These coloring books feature black-and-white artwork printed on the pages, and it is up to the seniors to color each section of the artwork in various colors. There are many benefits that seniors can get from coloring books, and to learn more, here are the ways that mood-boosting coloring books can help people with Alzheimer’s.

Helps in Boosting the Mood of Seniors

coloring book

Of course, the main benefit of coloring books is that they can help in boosting the mood of anyone, including kids, adults, and seniors. According to studies, coloring books are effective in raising the levels of serotonin in the brain, and this specific hormone is supposedly helping in improving the mood of a person. [1]

Keeping the seniors as calm as possible is essential in order for them to have a clearer and more relaxed mind, which is important to slow down the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. So, if you want to uplift the spirits of your elderly loved ones, you should give them several coloring books, and it would also be better if you could accompany or join them in coloring the books.

Coloring books can also help in keeping seniors active, which is essential for them to remain healthy and lively. Having a healthy lifestyle is important in preventing and slowing down dementia and Alzheimer’s, and this lifestyle should include not only fun activities but also a healthy diet and a little bit of exercise.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

By boosting the mood of seniors, coloring books are also effective in reducing stress and anxiety. Having negative thoughts is fairly common among seniors, and these thoughts would eventually cause anxiety, stress, and depression. There have been numerous studies suggesting that stress and anxiety can affect the nervous system. When we are stressed or anxious for a long time, especially when we get older, the nerves and neurons in the nervous system deteriorate, and the deterioration eventually develops into dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases that affect the brain.

Coloring books can help ease the elderly’s anxiety and stress, which they will most likely feel a lot whenever they think they are alone and they can’t do what they used to do anymore. By coloring, they will have a relaxing activity to do that can at least distract them from having negative thoughts.

Retains Motor Function

coloring book and colored pencils

Coloring books also help in retaining or maintaining the motor function of seniors. Motor function is an activity wherein specific parts of your body are moving properly and efficiently. Alzheimer’s and dementia would often affect a senior’s motor function to the point where he or she cannot use his or her hands to hold onto or grab something. Through coloring books, seniors will be able to retain their motor function, as they would need their hands in order to hold different crayons and start coloring the pages on the books.

Seniors that don’t use their hands frequently are also prone to getting arthritis and other diseases that affect the joints, muscles, and bones of our body. So, in addition to dementia and Alzheimer’s, seniors would often have to deal with arthritis too as they get older. Retaining motor function would not only help slow down the symptoms of dementia but would also help in keeping the hand muscles and bones of the elderly healthy.

Maintains Hand-Eye Coordination

Coloring books are also beneficial in maintaining hand-eye coordination, a natural skill that enables us to react to things that we see with quickness and efficiency. Hand-eye coordination is conducted whenever our eyes see something that we should touch, grab, or hold. Our eyes would send signals to our brain to touch the object they see, and the brain would then send the signals to the nerves of the hands. 

The process of sending signals to our brain and to our nerves would only take a few microseconds. But for the elderly, the process slows down as their nerves and neurons deteriorate over time and will not work as efficiently as when they were young. Fortunately, seniors will be able to decelerate the deterioration of their nerves by actively using their nervous system through hand-eye coordination, which they can do by adding colors to coloring books and doing other activities that involve the use of their eyes and hands. 

Through this article, we hope we have provided some insight to utilizing coloring books with your elderly loved ones. Coloring books can be enjoyed by anyone, so coloring the pages of these books can also be a great bonding time for you and your family.


[1] IntegraCare Blog. (2022, August 24). 11 Key Ways That Memory Care Residents Can Benefit From Coloring. IntegraCare. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from