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How Creative Pursuits Promote Healthy Aging

Nov 21, 2021

Children are encouraged to be creative: to draw, paint, make music and dance. But creativity and aging aren’t often thought of together, and many let go of their creativity to deal with the more practical matters that come with everyday life. In older age, when daily responsibilities often lessen, seniors have an opportunity to rediscover their inner creativity – and experts say it’s an opportunity they should take advantage of.

Research finds engaging in creative endeavors like arts and crafts, theatre, visual arts, music and literature, not only promotes healthy aging, but it might also prolong life.

“Creative activities can increase self-esteem, motivation and social connection, which can all have a positive impact on overall wellness,” says Barbara A. Keller, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Peter Becker Community. “Study after study reveals how participation in creative programming enhances quality of life for seniors. We’ve seen, firsthand, how our creative programming has improved the happiness of our residents.”

The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Creativity for Seniors

Using art activities and creative projects to help seniors express themselves offers numerous health benefits. Among them are relieving stress, boosting the immune system, encouraging creative thinking, stimulating brain activity, alleviating boredom, reducing depression and decreasing feelings of isolation.

Additionally, older adults who are active in the arts report less medication use, fewer doctor visits and increased activity levels, according to a Creativity and Aging Study by the Arts Health Network Canada.

“You don’t have to be a professional sculptor, musician, painter or dancer to reap the many health benefits of artistic and creative expression,” says Barb. “Participating in arts-based classes and workshops, pursuing a hobby like painting, attending local theatre presentations or museum exhibitions, or even joining gardening or book clubs can draw on your creative spirit, bring joy to your life and enhance your physical and mental health and well-being.”

Fortunately, most retirement and senior living communities offer multiple ways to engage residents artistically and creatively. For example, at Peter Becker Community, residents enjoy multiple creative classes throughout the year, such as woodworking, woodcarving, seasonal decor, creative coloring, , and more.

Creativity and Aging Brains

For seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease or memory loss, neurological studies show that expressions of creativity can even improve cognitive functions by producing new neural pathways. In other words, art and creative expression enhance cognitive reserve. It can help the brain compensate for pathology by using more efficient brain networks or alternative brain strategies.

The bottom line: Creativity inspires novel thinking and ideas – and better overall health. So, make time to step away from routines and indulge in creative and fun activities. Creating art, picking up an instrument, dancing to a favorite song and trying new things will not only make you feel good, but they just may help you live longer, too.

Your Moments Are at the Heart of What We Do

At Peter Becker Community, it’s our mission each day to celebrate your individuality, whether you reside here full-time or are here as a temporary resident of our Health Care Center. As a Continuing Care Retirement Community, we provide an environment that empowers you to remain active and autonomous while ensuring your future needs will be met. As a not-for-profit community, we are focused exclusively on the well-being of our residents.

We offer a full range of services – from Residential Living, to Personal Care, to Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, to compassionate Memory Care in our secure Memory Care neighborhood. Life here is good – it’s enriched by the time, choices, connections and involvement you’ll discover at our Continuing Care Retirement Community.

With our spectrum of activities, amenities, dining options, maintenance-free living and so much more, you’ll discover you spend more time enjoying our lifestyle and less time worrying about the details of life. You’ll find choices to build a secure life, connections that build closeness, involvement in the world at large and time to explore it all.

For more information about the services provided at Peter Becker Community or to schedule a personal visit to our Continuing Care Retirement Community in Montgomery County, please contact us at (215) 720-1087 to begin the conversation.