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Seniors rediscover a favourite childhood activity

Colouring in is not just for kids. Adult colouring books are the latest wellness trend, with some psychologists saying it can help reduce stress and enhance focus and creativity.
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Caption: Villa Maria Catholic Homes St Bernadette’s resident Reno Chetcuti, pictured with volunteer Eve Olejniczak.

Seniors at Villa Maria Catholic Homes’ St Bernadette’s aged care residence in Sunshine North have been enjoying the benefits of the creative exercise for the past 12 months.

Lifestyle Coordinator Shantell Kemp says the program’s name ’Outside the Lines’ came from part of a phrase penned by artist Kim Nance ‘Coloring outside the lines is a fine art’.

“To us this translates to the fact that there is no right or wrong way to colour in, as long as you enjoy it.”

Ms Kemp says the benefits of colouring in were varied. “It can be used as a de-stressor from everyday life, as it has been proven to slow down parts of the brain that cause stress and helps the body produce a calming effect.

“It also helps promote coordination and fine motor skills and some psychologists believe colouring in allows for creativity and can help people remember positive childhood memories.”

Volunteer Eve Olejniczak, who helps run the weekly group, admits she was at first a little skeptical.

“But once I saw them colouring in and really concentrating, I could see the benefits. I enjoy helping to motivate the residents to have a go at new things and keep them interested.”

Resident Reno Chetcuti, says: “It helps to calm my worries and at the end of the session I have my own work that I can give to my family.”

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