Older adults can find a great deal of satisfaction in being creative and expanding their horizons through the right mediums. Discovering how to be creative is also a great way for individuals to consolidate a sense of purpose and freedom, and improve their mood in the process. Furthermore, being creative can benefit one’s mental and physical health, which means that it’s a great option for older adults that are 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 can freely express themselves by participating in various classes and activities catered to their interests in our vibrant atmosphere. The even better news is that creativity does not diminish with age; that is a myth.
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 on how to be creative as one ages.
1. Learn to play music
Simply listening to music can improve mood, reduce anxiety, and boost cognitive abilities, and 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 makes use of both 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, including older adults, attribute new meaning to life, existence and already-established concepts. It helps them express their feelings and emotions without speaking.
This is therapeutic itself, and 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 less chance of developing memory loss illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
It is probably best enjoyed when done in groups. Grandparents, with their friends and loved ones, can engage in fun painting exercises like connect-the-dot puzzles and colouring book games over the weekends or on a schedule to unwind from the week’s stress.
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, it may be harder to find opportunities to stay in touch with our creative side. 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.
While many activities, like painting, are often associated with creativity, there are also a number of helpful treatments that are not typically thought of as creative but are, in fact, creative activities, and it’s encouraged that older adults pursue these activities if given the chance.