Most of us know the basic habits that lead to a healthy lifestyle:
- Don’t smoke
- Get enough sleep
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Exercise regularly
But there’s an often overlooked aspect that plays a significant role in health.
Creative activities can improve cognitive functioning, mental health and overall wellness as we age. According to a 2017 study, researchers found that participating in creative pursuits had “a positive impact on maintaining independence and reducing dependency.”
Creativity’s Effects on the Older Adult Brain
The mental, intellectual and neurological benefits of creativity are wide-ranging. By any measure, they’ll make a profound difference in an older person’s quality of life.
- Increased happiness
- Increased social activity
- Reduced depression
- Reduced anxiety
- Strengthened immune system
Research shows creativity can even combat Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of age-related dementia.
As data adds up, more healthcare professionals are recommending creative pursuits and art activities for older adults.
Creative Activities Anyone Can Try
The good news is that creative pursuits are easy, fun and almost always accessible. Here’s a list of activities to get you started. Many can be done at home. Others may require joining a class or group.
- Art classes. These come in many forms – drawing, pottery, sculpting, painting.
- Book clubs. It may not seem like an artistic pursuit, but reading exercises our imagination. In a book club, you’ll also use analytical skills to critique and discuss.
- Dancing. Matching physical and mental activity to music is creative. It also feels great. And with a partner, you’ve checked the social box too.
- Writing. Keep a journal, write a short story, a poem or even your autobiography. Putting pen to paper can be daunting but once you start writing, the words tend to flow.
- Acting. Join a community theater. Or gather friends and do readings of favorite scenes. “Wherefore art thou, Romeo!” Even a game of charades will stimulate your creative side.
- Arts and crafts. Creative craft ideas are infinite. Here’s a list of ideas. For added enjoyment, invite friends to join you or give away your craft as a gift.
Ignite Your Creative Flair at Abe’s Garden Community
Abe’s Garden Community is more than a wonderful senior living community. It’s a rewarding lifestyle, where residents thrive at all levels of care, and creativity is welcomed and shared.
To learn more about our culture of creative wellness and purpose, contact us here or call 615.997.3030.