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Enhancing Overall Well-Being Through Creative Outlets

Group Of Retired Seniors Attending Art Class In Community Centre With Teacher

Millions of senior citizens have discovered that taking up a creative outlet vastly improves their quality of life. A creative outlet can be something like taking a painting class, learning to play a musical instrument, launching a retirement career as an author or getting into various forms of crafting, such as pottery, woodworking or making jewelry.

Now hard science backs up the notion that creative outlets activity is a boon to senior health, both mental health and physical health.

Dr. Lisa Onken is a research scientist with the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Division of Behavioral and Social Research. She recently completed a study for the National institute on Aging. She said that her data showed that those who took up a creative art improved their cognitive functioning and memory. Other research sanctioned by the NIH has shown that creative outlets of various kinds can counter the effects of dementia associated with aging.

Benefits of Creative Outlets

Here are just a few examples of the benefits delivered by creative outlets:

  • Improved cognition
  • Better memory
  • Bolstered self esteem
  • Reduced stress
  • Freedom from boredom
  • Finding life more meaningful
  • Enhanced motor skills
  • Greater social interaction, less loneliness

Best Creative Outlets for Seniors

The short answer to this is the creative outlet each senior enjoys the most! All people are different. One person may think that gardening is the most possible fun that one could have, while others would rather do anything else than “scratch in the dirt and pull weeds.”

However, experience with millions of seniors and studies show that some creative outlets are more popular than others. Let’s look at a few:


The reason crafting is so popular is because of the variety it offers, Crafting can be pottery, knitting, scrapbooking, machine embroidery design, floral arrangement, crochet, woodworking, crochet, collage creating and many more. There tends to be one category of crafting that can appeal to a wide swath of the population.


Both listening and playing music is an extremely popular choice among seniors. It’s among the most powerful creative outlets because it’s challenging and fun at the same time. Better yet, learning to play an instrument has been strongly correlated with battling dementia. Singing and signing in a choir are also powerful musical forms of creative outlets.

Acting & Theater Arts

Not just fun and challenging but getting involved as an actor in a community play is an excellent way to gain greater and more meaningful social interaction. Loneliness is a significant problem among the elderly population. The theater arts involved working with a lot of other people, and from diverse age groups and backgrounds. It’s a wonderful creative outlet. Acting in a play is a great way to “come out of one’s shell.”

Staying Strong and Motivated

Just the few creative outlet types suggested above help keep seniors strong of body and mind –- and motivated. It’s important to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning and to have something to look forward to for the coming day. A creative outlet is a powerful force in making our senior years our Golden Years.

Written By

Brittany Cotton

Brittany Cotton is an article writer that focuses on health, wellness, and business. In her free time, you can find her reading, writing, and trying new recipes.

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