Seniors embrace coloring at center

Social activity boosts brain, helps with stress

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 3, 2016


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Feeling stressed? Want to meet new friends?

Then grab your markers and head over to the St. Clair Shores Senior Activities Center.

The Coloring Social Circle meets at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays at the center, located at 20000 Stephens St. The group was formed to help members experience the health benefits of adult coloring: “By engaging multiple parts of the brain while coloring, focusing on the lines, movements and colors, we can de-stress,” according to its newsletter.

Senior Activities Center Director Sue Fickau said that about two dozen participants show up each week to take part in the Coloring Social Circle.

“We were ahead of the trend,” she said.

The center’s group began in October to take advantage of the meditative effects and social aspects of adult coloring. And, Fickau said, it’s an activity that appeals to all ages and to many different people. One woman, she said, returned to membership at the center after an eight-year absence because the group was something that appealed to her.

Fickau said the group helps keep seniors active and social, and it doesn’t cost anything to join. The center provides pages to color or members can bring their own, and the center provides markers, colored pencils and more to use. Some members, she said, even framed some of their artwork to use as Christmas presents for their family.

“This is a pretty embracing group,” she said.

Jannett Williams, of St. Clair Shores, said she appreciates the camaraderie of the group, which she has attended since its inception.

“To socialize with the people, to see their creativity,” she said are the reasons why she comes each Wednesday. “There’s so many different ways and mediums you can use. It opens up an avenue of discussions with other people.”

Williams said she also appreciates the calming effects of coloring, and said it helps lower her blood pressure.

“It does relax you,” agreed Barbara Godman, of St. Clair Shores, who said she has enjoyed meeting new people at the center through the group.

“I had a stroke, so it’s been very difficult for me to remember stuff,” said MaryAnn Johnson, of St. Clair Shores. Coming and meeting with the same friends for an activity each week has helped improve that, she said. “I can call them by their names. It is (helping).”