Active Adult Housing Communities Wasilla AK
Creativity, Activity, and Longevity
The power of creativity in life is monumental. Artists and innovators know this from experience. Yet, creativity is by no means limited to artists. It is something that all of us can draw upon to refresh, invigorate, heal and connect. There is a multitude of ways to be creative in our lives. It may involve paint or canvas, story telling, choosing our clothes, gift giving during the holidays, or even the way we arrange our home. Creativity and its many forms are boundless.
One population that can benefit enormously through creative activity is the elderly. At a point in life when circumstances cause complex emotions and challenges, adjustments to daily living, or more leisure time, creative art forms may offer a hobby, passion, and a valid tool for dealing with life issues. Creative expression can be an outlet, a release, and a vehicle of expression. For seniors, using art to communicate and to process the complex events in their life opens a new window to the world.
Artistic endeavors help seniors stay engaged in life, bringing happy memories alive, bridging the past with the present, and offering choice and control. Writing life stories, making memory books and organizing photo albums can connect those in someone’s life today with those from their past, helping to keep alive a part of themselves. Identity-loss or change may be experienced due to a loss of a spouse, family members, retirement, or a move, which may lead to depression. Creative activity has been shown to reduce depression and isolation offering the power of choice and decisions, two aspects that seniors may feel they are losing. Simple choices such as whether to have a plant in one’s room, the arrangement of furniture, picking the time and night of the movie, and which vegetable to eat had a profound impact on the health and well-being of the elderly in a nursing home. The study was cut short because the mortality rate and health decline for those not offered the choices was drastically higher. Choice and creativity go hand in hand with optimizing health and longevity.
Creative activities also offer a new means of communicating and accessibility. People with physical or mental challenges due to stroke, heart attack, dementia or other factors have reported improved mood and self-esteem through art. We have found those with Alzheimer’s or dementia open up and communicate well through collage work. Sometimes, we may all forget how many creative activities and choices we make in our daily lives. It can be easy to reintroduce old ones as well as find new ones.
Let us share with you a little bit about Larry, a man who was both our teacher and client. He had lived a very fruitful life in all aspects, being an upstanding member of the community, managing a successful corporation, providing for his family and giving back through charity. One day after retirement, he was out boating and suffered a heart attack. He was never the same as a re...