Art therapy in Singapore is becoming a more popular and accepted method of helping the elderly enjoy their later years. Thanks to the recent “Arts for Ageing Well” study, conducted by an associate professor at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), psychiatrists in Singapore can now have a better understanding of how art therapy affects the elderly.

The “Arts for Ageing Well” Survey

Associated Professor Andy HO, of the NTU’s School of Social Sciences, headed up the art therapy study. Commissioned by the National Arts Council (NAC), the study presented a special survey to over 1,000 Singaporean seniors, all over the age of 50. The survey included questions about the respondents exposure to various forms of art and their reactions and related experiences.

Responses from Seniors

According to the survey results, seniors who had experienced some form of art reported an improved quality of life. The increase in quality of life was minor but noticeable, about 4 percent. Three out of four participants expressed an understanding of the value or importance of art.
In addition, the seniors who had visited events involving art indicated a slight increase of 3 percent in their physical health. Cognitive function was reported to be higher by 3 percent as well, while social support and mental well-being increased by 4 percent. However, respondents noted the greatest increase in quality of life related to their sense of “spiritual well-being,” with a marked 10 percent increase.

Conclusions About Art Therapy

In response to the survey results, Professor Ho explained, “With this evidence, we have the power to show health and social care centres that art needs to play a much more prominent role in the work that they do.” Dr Ho hopes to “incorporate art into hospitals, nursing homes and elderly care centres, and make this a permanent fixture rather than a one-off activity.” He compared the benefits of art therapy to those of physical exercise, anti-depressant medication, and talk therapy from a psychologist in Singapore.

The Future of Art Therapy

The benefits of art therapy for people of all ages have long been recognised by proponents of mental health in Singapore. However, with the help of studies like these, experts have concrete evidence to support the creation of new art programs to benefit specific segments of Singapore’s population, like the senior citizens. Grace Fu, the Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth, spoke at the Arts for Eldercare Seminar and praised the findings. She expressed the government’s dedication to better mental health in Singapore for everyone, including the elderly. She mentioned that the study could help the Ministry ” channel resources to areas which are likely to have a significant impact on seniors.”

Finding Art Therapy in Singapore

Do you know a senior who might be interested in art therapy? Contact Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, where art therapy is one of our go-to methods for improving mental health in Singapore. Under the direction of a psychologist in Singapore, your senior friend or family member can enjoy art projects that help with self-expression, mental balance, cognitive function, and stress relief.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Today Online, 7 Sept 2017