Researchers & ageing experts state music, painting, and writing can help people live longer & stay mentally fit as they reach their senior years. Need to live a little longer? Or remain mentally fit as you hit your 70s, 80s & even 90s? Perhaps you should paint some scenes Or picture. Or maybe take up playing either the piano, Giter or as you like. Making creative work & make your golden years more enjoyable.Carol Cummings, the senior director of Optimum Life Engagement & Innovation says the human brain is designed to grow & change during a person’s life. In fact, she states, your creativity can get better with age. It also may help you ward off disease & cognitional deterioration. And there’s some science to back up this declaration.
In 2006, The Center on Aging, Health & Humanities at The George Washington University (GW) published a report named -The Creativity and Aging Study. The 02-year study had 6 prominent sponsors. The leading sponsor was the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The study was intended to evaluate what impacts participation in artistic activities, culturally has on the mental health, general health, and social lives of older adults. Activities consisted of, amongst other things, drama, poetry, painting, dance, and music.
A total of 300 people took part in the study, 100 in each of 03 different locations: Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Brooklyn. In each region, 50% of the participants were placed in a control group. The other 50%, the intervention group, actively engaged in various creative activities provided & managed by professional artists.
Participants had an about of 80 years. Overall, ages ranged from 65 & 103 years. In order to present a baseline measurement, each Participant began with a face-to-face interview through which they filled out various surveys. Participants also filled out surveys at the end of both the first & second years of the study. In each category, analysis of the study results observed that those in the intervention groups showed positive outcomes relative to those in the control groups.
The findings looked at overall health, a number of doctor visits, over-the-counter medication use, morale, depression, falls, and loneliness. The study authors note with their conclusions, In these results also reveal stabilization & actual development in community-based activities in general with those in the cultural programs, they show a positive impact on keeping independence & on reducing dependency.
Researcher Dr Joe Verghese discussed the importance of something called cognitional reserve. Verghese said – The cognitional reserve is an idea that is the type of akin to the mental muscle. The more you exercise your brain, you build new relationships & you build new networks.
So while ageing hits your brain, then you’re able to ward off signs of those diseases for a long time. Involving in those types of activities helps you do it. Genevieve Saenz, MA, LMFT-A, an art therapist who has for many years served with AGE of Central Texas, spoke about the beneficial impacts of creativity on ageing.
Saenz stated, – I look at creativity in overall, not just visual art, but anything to dancing, from gardening to going to the ballet, to create a piece of art, to hearing to music. These are my therapeutic tools. Saenz said These tools provide, – a revival of the human potential for creativity. But Saenz warns that the elderly face a real problem in our society.
Saenz said – In the society that we live in, there’s a social pattern of isolation & uselessness that is placed on people, And people stand that age and all of a sudden society marks them as less than people anymore.
She added, – We don’t respect our elders in this society. And that has a mental, and I believe, a physical impact on people because of that forecast from the society. Well, what do you do with them? Right? Who am I now? So there’s this identity crisis that occurs along with the change in life That’s why Getting people out of isolation is just so important.
Verghese echoed similar sentiments. He said,-A lot of older people, they do live alone, they have poor social contact & insufficient social interaction. So by getting them to involve in activities, particularly in activities where you have to do it as a group, you automatically develop the social engagement & that has been linked with less depression & a better sense of well-being.
Verghese acknowledges that outside of cities, it may be difficult for some older adults to move outside the home in order to partake in social movements.
Said Verghese, – There are another organizations that provide cognitively exciting activities through telephones, There’s an Institution named DOROT (dorotusa.org) which has the University Without Walls where they do a mixture of group study, lectures, and more… all available through the telephone. All you want to do is call in & you’re either part of a group or you’re attending to a speaker talking about a particular topic, -said Verghese.
Saenz mentioned that “There are great resources on the internet about art. There are courses you can get online.
I assume the main thing that encourages creativity in your life is driving risks. Also taking a risk is a creative act. You’re creating something. You’re thinking. You’re thinking about something. You’re thinking outside the experience you’re in & wondering what a new reality could be. And that said Saenz, “is creativity.” Expose yourself to your art. One of the things the arts can do, that different community-based things can’t, is that it also helps expression for elders.
So, while you’re working with the arts, you have a chance to share your knowledge, to share your fantasy, to do some passage of all the things that have happened to you in your life, and to expose yourself & be authentic. And that is allowing & so healthy for anyone at any age.