As children, we’re encouraged to be creative. We have endless opportunities to draw, paint, make music, and dance. But those creative opportunities seem to dwindle for most of us as we become adults and deal with the more practical matters that come with everyday life. However, as we become seniors and daily responsibilities tend to lessen, we once again have an opportunity to rediscover our inner creativity – and experts say it’s a golden opportunity we should take advantage of.
Research shows us that engaging in creative endeavors like visual arts, music, crafts, theatre, and literature promotes healthy aging and might also prolong life because they increase activity, self-esteem, motivation, and social connection—all of which positively impact overall wellness. Study after study reveals how participation in creative activities enhances the quality of life for seniors and increases happiness.
Can creativity actually improve memory in seniors?
The answer is a resounding yes. Creativity significantly impacts memory due to its ability to stimulate the brain. There are numerous health benefits to using creative activities to help seniors express themselves. These activities also relieve stress, encourage creative thinking, alleviate boredom, reduce depression, boost the immune system, and decrease feelings of isolation. Furthermore, according to a Creativity and Aging Study by the Arts Health Network Canada, seniors who are active in the arts report increased activity levels, less medication use, and fewer doctor visits. The good news is that seniors don’t have to be art enthusiasts. Even doing a little gardening or joining a book club can draw on their creative spirit and reap the same results. At communities like The Cabana at Jensen Dunes in Jensen Beach, Florida, residents enjoy services and amenities that support staying active, as well as a robust and ever-changing calendar of activities and events.
How does creativity reduce anxiety, depression, and loneliness?
As we age, we tend to fear the unknown, which can quickly trigger anxiety. For instance, a senior could be afraid of falling or not receiving medication. Some could fear living alone, being victimized, or even death. Unfortunately, these thoughts are common among many seniors. However, if left unaddressed for too long, they could grow into anxiety, loneliness, or even depression.
That’s where staying active and creative again comes into play, empowering seniors to enjoy fulfilling lives engaging in activities that keep them busy. Such activities increase their joy and morale, and foster a positive outlook.
Creativity does an aging brain good
Our brains can learn and grow at every age, but it requires us to stay active by engaging in regular activities. Neurological studies show that for seniors living with memory loss or Alzheimer’s, expressions of creativity can even improve cognitive functions by producing new neural pathways.
In other words, art and creative expression enhance cognitive reserve. They help an aging brain compensate by using more efficient brain networks or alternative brain strategies, resulting in better memory, concentration, attention, and problem solving.
Creating art, playing an instrument, dancing to a favorite song, or trying new things not only makes you feel good, but may also help you live longer.
Creativity boosts communication and socialization
We all want to stay engaged and feel included with the people around us. That’s why communication and socialization are crucial elements for seniors, making them feel loved and comfortable around other people.
Seniors who engage in creative activities can communicate comfortably and remain social without feeling intimidated. Group interactions also help seniors become more sociable and gain mental and physical benefits that positively impact their lives.
Brain health is at the heart of what we do at The Cabana at Jensen Dunes
At The Cabana at Jensen Dunes, we’ve created an assisted living and memory support environment that empowers our residents to keep learning and remain active and independent while ensuring their current and future needs are met. With our generous menu of services, amenities, activities, dining options, and maintenance-free living, our residents spend more time enjoying our lifestyle and less time worrying about the details of life.
For more information about The Cabana at Jensen Dunes or to schedule a personal visit, please get in touch with us at 772-758-1003. We’d love to tell you more.