creative aging . . . tips from our friends in ohio

As we all know, engaging in the arts can be extremely beneficial to our physical, mental, and social health. It is essential to stay creatively engaged in order to develop our minds and maintain cognitive function. However, sometimes when thinking about “developing our minds” we only think of children. What about the elderly?

Engagement in the arts by the elderly has actually shown to greatly improve their quality of life. According to the 2010 census, adults 65+ make up 15.5% of Rhode Island’s population. About half of older adults suffer from two or more chronic conditions, which may include heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and hypertension. Hearing, vision, and muscle loss are extremely common in the elderly and may result in isolation, depression, and poorer health. Often, we simply turn to medication or devices to relieve or prevent these problems. Why not turn to the arts?

Arts participation in later life can keep many people socially engaged, alleviating feelings of isolation and depression. The arts provide an opportunity for self-expression, healing, and community. In addition, arts participation has been shown to stimulate the senses and enliven emotions and the mind. So how can you help those you are working with to reap these benefits?

Thanks to our amazing partners at the Ohio Arts Council, the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, and the National Center for Create Aging, we are able to provide all of the resources you will need to help you approach the arts and the elderly. Below, there are several links that we really encourage you not only to take a look at but discuss with one another in the comments below. We hope you enjoy this great resource!

Please feel free to share with your colleagues and communities, and we hope you enjoy this great new resource.