Older adults can find great satisfaction in being creative and expanding their horizons through various mediums. Discovering how to be creative is also an excellent way for individuals to consolidate a sense of purpose and freedom and improve their mood. Furthermore, being creative can benefit one’s mental and physical health, which is an excellent option for older adults looking to learn and try new things.
Maintaining good health as we age is essential in stimulating the mind and body. Residents at Seasons Retirement Communities can freely express themselves by participating in various classes and activities catered to their interests in our vibrant atmosphere. The good news is that creativity does not diminish with age!
Read more about easy crafts for older adults to practice to help lead active and healthy lifestyles,
In this article, we’ll outline 6 ways to be creative as one ages.
1. Learn to play music.
Simply listening to music can improve mood, reduce anxiety, and boost cognitive abilities. Learning to play music can be even more engaging. Playing an instrument, such as the piano, violin, or flute, strengthens mental muscles, keeps fingers agile, and has several psychological benefits.
Being creative stimulates the mind and the body and can help improve one’s cognitive abilities. A study shows that the brain releases dopamine during a music session, which improves emotional and cognitive performance. A dopamine rush inspires, alters mood, and enhances learning and concentration skills.
Painting is one of the simplest ways to be creative, as a stimulating, enjoyable pastime that simultaneously uses both the creative and practical halves of the brain. To reap the benefits of this recreational activity, it doesn’t necessarily need to be flawless or carried out by a trained professional. It can be done by anyone who can paint or simply apply colour to a surface.
Painting helps people attribute new meaning to life, existence and already-established concepts. It allows them to express their feelings and emotions without speaking.
This is therapeutic; creative outlets like this sharpen the mind and keep the painter cognitively awake. For this reason, painters and people who engage in creative activities well into retirement have like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Better still, we can enjoy painting in group settings, where people can come together and socialize while being creative.
Dancing is another way to be more creative as one gets older. Dance classes are usually a fun, lively way for older adults – barring those with mobility issues – to maintain their creativity. While dance is frequently more mentally demanding than aerobics, it offers similar health benefits.
The dancer generally has to memorize patterns and combinations in a dance lesson. This helps to keep their minds active. According to studies, dancing helps older adults who may be experiencing symptoms of dementia since it gives them an experience they can enjoy right now.
It has been demonstrated that dancing can increase social and behavioural aspects, such as self-motivation, and its physical effects are comparable to traditional exercise training. It can also improve people’s physical, emotional, and psychological health.
The development of older individuals’ physical, intellectual, and social selves has been demonstrated in qualitative research to be facilitated by aesthetic expression.
4. Creative writing
Older persons can use writing to tell tales and explore their creative minds. Creative writing is very beneficial for older adults with dementia since it allows them to express themselves in a non-pressured environment. An older adult can attend a local creative writing class or club to network with people of like minds.
You may also find fun writing challenges that are encouraging and stimulating, or share your work with friends and family members.
Creative writing allows you to stave off worries and concentrate on the now. Frequent creative writing helps one better comprehend their actions and behaviours and reduces anxiety.
Depression can result from unacknowledged feelings. Writing, however, can improve emotional intelligence and help to manage depression.
5. Join a group for the performing arts
While engaging in artistic initiatives of any kind is a beautiful pastime for older individuals, performing arts are perfect for enhancing individuality, self-confidence, and self-esteem. People of all ages and skill levels are welcome in several choral groups that are open to the public.
Community theatre is another possible alternative. Older adults can fill several significant roles onstage as well as off it. Opportunities range from the ensemble and lead parts to front-of-house and back-of-house tasks, including ticket sales and costume assistance.
Membership in a performing arts group has the extra benefit of increasing an older person’s social network and lowering their risk of social isolation.
There are many opportunities for older people to support a worthwhile cause. They can join forces for food drives, toy drives, fundraising events, or other charitable efforts.
Volunteering stimulates the brain, which benefits mental health. Meaningful and constructive tasks might help older people feel happier, more optimistic about life, and discover how to be creative.
Older adults can use their inherent skills to assist someone in need. It could be visiting the sick, organizing a fundraiser, knitting or sewing for the less fortunate, or preparing meals for a shelter. It might be as easy as gift-wrapping.
The sense of purpose and happiness one can obtain from this type of engagement far outweighs the importance of the individual task.
As we grow older, finding opportunities to stay in touch with our creative side may take more work. However, it has been demonstrated that creative therapies favour older people’s mental and physical health. The act of creation and one’s improved outlook on life may be more significant than the finished item or concrete result.