Thanks to modern medicine, advanced research, and healthy lifestyle trends (fruit smoothie, anyone?), we're able to live much longer as a society. According to the latest U.S. Census, the global population is aging in unprecedented numbers. Extending our golden years can be such a blessing, and while there may be some challenges along the way, it's important to focus on living well, not just living longer. One way to do that is through creativity! Before you pull out the paints, let's chat about why
it's so important.
The Creative Connection
There's a growing number of studies on the connection between the arts and seniors. Experts from around the world are discovering how expressing ourselves through painting, storytelling, singing, dancing, and poetry can have a positive impact on our health and well-being.
Most of us know creative activities are a great way to keep our brain active and alert, but they can do so much more. In fact, research shows
creativity can have significant physical benefits. One of the long-term benefits of having a creative practice is its ability to prevent degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Creative activities can also help lower blood pressure, alleviate anxiety, and increase levels of "happiness hormones" associated with a runner's high. Not to mention the physical activity itself helps us maintain dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
Creativity & Aging Well
What does "aging well" really mean? According to a study published in the Journal of Aging Studies, participants aged 60-93 identified six features of successful aging, which included a sense of purpose, interacting with others, personal growth, self-acceptance, autonomy, and health. Expressing ourselves through creativity checks off all of these items.
Learning a new craft or diving into a creative project encourages a feeling of competence and purpose. It helps with problem-solving skills and offers a sense of satisfaction you can take into everyday life. When it's done with other people, it provides an outlet for community building. And, when you're able to share handmade gifts with others, it develops a sense of pride in what you've created. Who knew that knocking out a knitted scarf could be so beneficial to aging well?
Creative Activities for Seniors
Time to get busy! We've mentioned several creative activities above, but here's a more comprehensive list of things to try. Pull this up any time you need a fresh idea for something interesting, relaxing, or playful to do.
• Adult coloring books are popular and easy to find in stores or online.• Painting with watercolors can be relaxing and simple to learn.
• Pastels are easy to hold and smudge with your fingers, which is always fun.
• Singing offers many neurological benefits and can be entertaining for others to sing along.
• Dancing with someone or even alone can offer both physical and mental benefits.
• Playing a musical instrument has the same positive effects as singing and dancing.
• Crafting with paper can turn into greeting cards, stationery, or even scrapbooks.
• Taking photos is not only a creative activity but also helps you capture memories.
• Knitting keeps your hands busy and allows you to create meaningful gifts to share.
• Teaching others how to do any of the activities above is a great way to connect and make new friends.
We hope you have fun with these ideas and challenge yourself to learn something new. Just know that whether you reach for a palette of paint, roll out a ball of yarn, or belt out your favorite song in the company of friends, your creative endeavors are leading you to a life well-lived.
There's always something creative & crafty going on at Resort Lifestyle Communities. Check out a community near you
and join us for a complimentary class!