The Art of Aging: How the Pursuit of Art Can Benefit Older Adults
Our bodies age, our minds age, but our creative abilities stand the test of time. In fact, research has found that imagination and creativity actually flourish later in life because the brain responds to art by allowing both the left and right hemispheres to work simultaneously. And this holds true even for those with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other chronic diseases.
Making art and even viewing art allows the brain to adapt and restructure, enhancing cognition and increasing brain reserve capacity. Beyond this, art offers many other benefits as well including:
- Reducing depression and anxiety
- Increased sense of control
- Sensory stimulation
- Alleviates boredom
- Encourages playfulness and good humour
- Calming and relaxing
- Fosters self-esteem
So, what kind of art elicits such benefits? The good news is, all of it! From drawing to music, poetry to dancing, needlework and knitting, wherever your interests lie in the world of arts, there are benefits to be had.
While some art forms may be a solitary activity, there is no need to be alone while creating. There are many groups that get together to paint, dance, sing, or quilt. If you are not part of one, create one! Communities like Amintro are here for you to find other like-minded people to connect with. In doing so, you will not only reap the benefits to be gained through art, but also those to be had through socializing. You will be able to converse, create, inspire and be inspired.
A study published in the Journal of Aging Studies found that participants aged 60-93 identified six pillars of successful aging: a sense of purpose, interactions with others, personal growth, self-acceptance, autonomy, and health. Creative activities, especially in a group setting, encourage most of these aspects.
Make time for art at least once a week and see how you thrive. Better yet, find like-minded people to get artsy with and expand your social circles through Amintro. You can pre-register here and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @AmintroLiving, and like us on Facebook at AmintroLiving to stay up to date with the latest news from our community.
By Christine Tompa