The connection between art and our health.
Creating art is a vital part of human expression and contributes to our shared experience. Through music, dance, stories and other forms of art, we make sense of what‚Äôs around us and explore our inner world of thoughts and emotions.
Many of us put aside art making or art appreciation for the demands of the working world, yet there are significant psychological and physical benefits of arts and crafts for the elderly, the young, and all ages in between.
In fact, older adults who participate in cultural programs visit the doctor less, require reduced prescription medications, have less risk of falls, and feel happier and more socially connected. You can read the Creativity and Aging Study conducted by George Washington University for details on the benefits of art therapy for seniors, including:
- Feeling relaxed and in control
- Socializing with others
- Encouraging risk-taking and fun
- Improving cognition and memory
- Strengthening a sense of identity
- Increasing self-esteem
- Nurturing spirituality
- Eliminating boredom
Feeling low? Art could be the answer.
For older adults who no longer work, but are still living independently, art can provide a new sense of meaning and mastery. Search for ‚Äúart classes for senior citizens near me‚Äù on your computer, and you‚Äôll find an array of choices. Look for a class that helps you regain a sense of playfulness. Or one that gives you control. Art can help you express things that you hold private. When it‚Äôs hard to talk about grief, or what it feels like to cope with a medical condition or illness, participating in art projects for seniors can open up avenues for expression and help you process your feelings.
Your body will thank you.
Yes, by all means go for a walk or take an exercise class, but consider expressing your physicality in dance and drama too. You‚Äôll challenge your hand-eye coordination, memory and motor skills, and build camaraderie as you join others in learning something new.
You‚Äôll cultivate a healthier brain.
The benefits of art therapy for seniors also extend to loved ones in care settings ‚Äî helping to stimulate the senses, boost mood and trigger positive memories. As we learn or engage in new activities, lifelong learning, the brain adapts and restructures itself by building new and more efficient neurological pathways. Art requires both hemispheres of the brain to work in tandem, forging new connections between one‚Äôs creativity and the intelligence gained from years of life experiences.
You don‚Äôt have to be Picasso.
All you need is a desire to keep learning. In a senior living community dedicated to lifelong learning, like Broadview, there are opportunities to interact with art in myriad ways. From classes on pottery, acting or dance to exhibitions at The Neuberger Museum of Art, from lectures and discussions in The Learning Commons to arts and crafts for seniors in assisted living in Westchester County, Broadview offers a variety of art and culture programs that are informative, enjoyable and therapeutic.
Learn how, as a Broadview resident, you‚Äôll gain free or subsidized access to the conservatories of Music, Dance, and Theatre Arts; the School of Art+Design; the Neuberger Museum of Art; and The Performing Arts Center. Call 914-417-4201 for details.