News

April 12, 2016
 
April 12, 2016 (Washington, DC) - The National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) which promotes healthy aging through creative expression in the arts and humanities serving older people, announces the appointment of Jennie Smith-Peers, now the Executive Director of Elders Share the Arts to serve as the new NCCA Executive director upon the retirement of Gay Hanna the current executive director at the end of June 2016.
 
“NCCA chose Jennie Smith-Peers...
November 30, 2015
November 30-December 3, 2015
Lincoln Center Education, NYC
Join us for Lifetime Arts’ Training Institute |Winter 2015 and learn how Creative Aging can expand your organization’s reach, enrich your menu of services and increase support by incorporating arts education for older adults into your program offerings. Lifetime Arts will support participating teams beyond the 3.5 day intensive live training with follow-up services throughout 2016. These include:...
November 12, 2015
November 12, 2015 
9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Waltham, MA
In collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts-New Hampshire Chapter, JF&CS’ biennial symposium will focus on community-level changes to improve livability for individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s or a related disorder. Gary Glazner, John McFadden and Susan McFadden will guide us in exploring best practices from around the U.S. and the world, and...
October 9, 2015
Informational sessions will be offered using art therapy and other interventions with populations such as those with Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, Parkinson, and those who have suffered trauma, abuse, and more. 
 
 
August 25, 2015
August 25-27, 2015
Sydney Australia 
The Art of Good Health and Wellbeing, 7th Annual International Arts and Health Conference, will present best practice and innovative arts and health programs, effective health promotion and prevention campaigns, methods of project evaluation and scientific research.International speakers - Anne Basting, Dominic Campbell, Gary Glazner, Laurel Humble, Stuart Kandell and Susan Perlstein will be presenting five...
August 16, 2015
A five-day retreat featuring special guest teacher, Joanna Macy. Sponsored by the Conscious Elders Network and Stepping Stones Project, join with other older adults to share your passions and participate more fully in a Great Turning to a Life-sustaining Society. The Work That Reconnects, pioneered by Joanna Macy, helps to uncover and experience innate connections with others and the healing powers of the web of life. This highly experiential and interactive work draws from systems...
August 14, 2015
Detroit, MI
This afternoon and evening of art, music, poetry and story telling celebrates 90 years of serving older adults in the Detroit Metropolitan Area.
 
August 13, 2015
Thursday, August 13
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Surprise, AZ 
Celebrate the great days of Radio Drama, when the actors supply the words and your imagination does the rest!  Come take part as a performer, or make sound effects, or simply enjoy a great story told the way it is in Radio Days.  Enjoy an afternoon of art and socializing for people with memory loss, their families and caregivers.
...
August 6, 2015
Ongoing, Monthly
Kairos Alive! artists recently returned from an exciting residency in Winona MN that got us dancing with elders and kids throughout the community!  In addition to dancing with the Winona Health care residents in the hospital and assisted living it was also the second series of our new Moving Well™ Training with Winona Health. Our residency culminated in a joyful Dance Hall™, with musicians Larry Price and the Winona State University Jazz Combo in the...
July 30, 2015
July 30-August 2, 2015
Montreal, Canada
The Senior Theatre sessions at the 2015 ATHE Conference will be a great opportunity to connect with other enthusiasts. Join us in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from July 30-August 2 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel. The ATHE organization has supported Senior Theatre for decades, even though most of our participants and attendees work on the grass-roots level with older actors. It’s a friendly gathering,...
April 9, 2015
Program, Reflections was recently featured during a segment by the local NBC affiliate. 
September 29, 2014

The Mesa Arts Center’s Creative Aging Program in Mesa, Arizona offers three special workshops in storytelling, movement, and visual arts. The free workshops are being held at Mesa Arts Center through the end of November and are open to the public. These workshops offer unique ways for adults over 55 to improve self-esteem and overall physical health. Studies have shown that participation in activities like the workshops can also prevent stress and depression as we age.
Broadway...

September 24, 2014

Newsweek looks at what they call the 'age old old-age problem' in this compelling article about the new concept of intergenerational communities. The aging of the baby boomer generation raises red flags for those invested in the policy of aging - how to promote the enrichment of life between the ages of 50 to 70? New communities are being promoted that solve two problems at once by pairing older adults with those who might need aid. This includes veterans, single mothers, and adults with...

September 23, 2014

Ezekiel Emanuel wrote an essay in The Atlantic about his desire to not live past the age of 75. As a rebuttal to this notion, the author puts forth the argument that the human spirit retains its vigor and independence well past the age of 75. It is irresponsible, even dangerous, of Emanuel to suggest that the qualities that define us as people dissipate as we age. They may change, even radically, but the perspective of the article is that those changes are to be embraced, not shied away...

September 17, 2014

Studies have shown that sitting less and standing more can slow the aging process within cells. However, most of these studies have not proven whether sitting actually causes poor health. Scientists in Sweden have conducted a new experiment where they altered the amount of time people spent exercising and sitting, and tracked the results. They were particularly interested in whether the changes would have any effect on the group’s telomeres, tiny caps on the ends of DNA strands that shorten...

September 7, 2014

Jeffery Bland, Ph.D, President of Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute, reflects on his childhood as a baby boomer.  Baby boomers are living longer now but many are living with chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Over many decades, the medical industry has been concerned with treatment on a grand scale. The importance of individualized healthcare is highlighted as no two diseases are the same.
Huffington Post
...

September 5, 2014

The author reflects on his experience at “A Virginia Chautauqua,” and educational travel tour for those 55 and older. Hosted by non-profit organization, Elderhostel, the tour consisted of 14 sessions about topics ranging from the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley to the understanding of the concept of “liberty.” The author also expresses his excitement towards learning about the favorite apps and websites of those who also attended the travel tour. Some of these were thegreatcourses.com,...

September 3, 2014

Zekenim, a program in Los Angeles, seeks to tell the stories of local Jewish immigrants. In partnership with the USC Davis School of Gerontology, Zekenim, will collate a collection of stories and recollections from older Jewish adults. These stories will then be turned into visual art by local Jewish teens and younger adults. The foundational award that enabled this program will also be used to create a toolkit to guide other organizations in future implementations.
USC News...

August 19, 2014

The fifteenth annual free film festival complete with refreshments and chances to meet the filmmakers will be held...

August 19, 2014

The New York Late-Starters Orchestra has provided many older adults with the opportunity to explore new musical passions or return to those they once loved.  This was the case of Ari Goldman with cello, an instrument he had put aside 25 years ago. He became inspired after taking his...

August 15, 2014

A new study has found that, when completing memory tests in the morning, the brains of older adults work more like those of young adults. The study took place at the University of Toronto’s Rotman Research Institute and involved administering the tests to both younger and older...

August 15, 2014

A new study has found that, when completing memory tests in the morning, the brains of older adults work more like those of young adults. The study took place at the University of Toronto’s Rotman Research Institute and involved administering the tests to both younger and older participants in morning and afternoon sessions. The study suggests that older adults might do well to schedule intellectually challenging tasks in the morning, when they are likely to be most alert. Also, physical...

August 14, 2014

The Kentucky Senior Games, a multi-sport medal competition for people ages 50 and over, will take place in Frankfort on September 2-7. The archery competition was held on its own Saturday August 16, kicking off the series of events. Other sports to be contested include badminton, 3-on...

August 8, 2014

Pendants you press in case of a fall have existed for some time, but a new device being used at the Edgemere Senior Living Community doesn’t require a button. Instead, it senses the motion of the fall of the wearer, and signals the recipient with the wearer’s general location. This is...

August 8, 2014

Pendants you press in case of a fall have existed for some time, but a new device being used at the Edgemere Senior Living Community doesn’t require a button. Instead, it senses the motion of the fall of the wearer, and signals the recipient with the wearer’s general location. This is one of many new technologies now improving the lives of seniors. For individual use, there are now internet games that can help improve cognitive skills. For caregivers, there are online matching services. ...

August 7, 2014

Interfaith Older Adult Programs is accepting applications for the Social Innovation Prize in Wisconsin. The award honors adults age 60 and older who are defying expectations by channeling their creativity and talent to address critical social problems at the local, regional or national level.The winner of the prize receives a $5,000 investment toward...

August 6, 2014

Clinical depression affects many members of the older population. In a small study, researchers tested participants with depression age 60-89, who played 30 hours of computer activities over the course of four weeks. The study found that playing certain computer...

August 6, 2014

Clinical depression affects many members of the older population. In a small study, researchers tested participants with depression age 60-89, who played 30 hours of computer activities over the course of four weeks. The study found that playing certain computer games was just as effective at reducing depression in older patients as the commonly prescribed antidepressant escitalopram (brand name Lexapro), and in four weeks versus 12. The games also outperformed medication in terms of...

August 5, 2014

Huffington Post and The Today Show have started a series known as “50 Over 50” in which 10 extraordinary older people are nominated by readers for each part. Pegi Burdick, now 65, relaunched her career at 57 with a financial counseling business, and helps homeless female veterans...

August 5, 2014

Huffington Post and The Today Show have started a series known as “50 Over 50” in which 10 extraordinary older people are nominated by readers for each part. Pegi Burdick, now 65, relaunched her career at 57 with a financial counseling business, and helps homeless female veterans through Operation Welcome House. In 2009, at age 64, Richard Fahey visited Liberia for the first time since college and subsequently retired from his 40 year career as an environmental lawyer to found the Liberian...

August 1, 2014

The New York Late-Starters Orchestra has provided many older adults with the opportunity to explore new musical passions or return to those they once loved.  This was the case of Ari Goldman, who set aside his cello 25 years ago. He became inspired after taking his child to music lessons, and set a personal goal of performing at his 60th birthday in two years.  The article also details many late starters in other fields of creativity.
Healthy Aging Magazine
...

July 29, 2014

People are now living longer, and for many, a whole third of their lives will take place past retirement. One method that has helped many slow mental decline, keep spirits up, and find companionship is community improvised theatre. The Curtain Up Players began as such a group for...

July 29, 2014

People with a sense of purpose in life have a 15 percent lower risk of death, compared with those who feel aimless, according to the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study, funded by the National Institute on Aging. But this news isn’t bleak, because the study also showed that...

July 29, 2014

People are now living longer, and for many, a whole third of their lives will take place past retirement. One method that has helped many slow mental decline, keep spirits up, and find companionship is community improvised theatre. The Curtain Up Players began such a group for those over age 50. There is no script, but the 13 actors have rough ideas of scenes in which they can improvise. As one cast member remarked: "The group stretches my ability to communicate with people, which when you...

July 28, 2014

People with a sense of purpose in life have a 15 percent lower risk of death, compared with those who feel aimless, according to the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study, funded by the National Institute on Aging. But this news isn’t bleak, because the study also showed that this benefit was present whenever people found a purpose, be it in their 20’s, 50’s or 70’s.  The analysis accounted for age, gender, and other factors of well-being, but the importance of a sense of purpose was...

July 26, 2014

While there have long been indications that people who express their creative talents tend to do better in areas of health, scientists have previously struggled to find definitive connections between the two. While some great artistic geniuses died at a...

July 26, 2014

Why Creative People Age Better
While there have long been indications that people who express their creative talents tend to do better in areas of health, scientists have previously struggled to find definitive connections between the two. While some great artistic geniuses died at a younger than average age, experimentation, openness to new ideas, and flexibility in dealing with changes are the essence of creativity, and also the crucial ingredients for healthy cognitive aging. Even...

July 17, 2014

Agitation is one of the hardest symptoms of dementia to deal with, for patients and caregivers alike. More and more, researchers are looking for ways to treat it without the use of medication. Some are studying the effects of aromatherapy, and others, like the University of Exeter, are...

July 16, 2014

84% of younger adults (ages 18-59) and 89% of older adults (over age 60) say they feel confident about maintaining a high quality of life in their senior years, according to a national survey of 2,000 people. The main reason for this optimism was feeling like they will have good support from...

July 15, 2014

A new documentary entitled “Alive Inside” won an audience award at the Sundance Film Festival, as a straightforward advocacy piece for music therapy for people with dementia. It explores the ways in which listening to music can help severely disabled seniors, and the trials that come with...

July 14, 2014

The combination of eating well, exercising, keeping mentally and socially engaged, and managing obesity can reduce someone's risk of memory decline, according to a new study from Finland. In the two year study, 1,260 people ages 60-77 were divided into two groups: one...

July 14, 2014

A survey found that half of those 44 to 70 years old want encore careers. Additionally, nine million Americans in that same age group currently are in an encore career, with 31 million expressing interest in pursuing one. This is important, because economists think that there will be a severe lack of people to fill the many jobs that will open as baby boomers...

July 7, 2014

As individuals approach retirement from their careers, they begin to start worrying about what they’ll do with all their time, and how they’ll continue to have high self esteem. A study of 28 people ages 62-70, who had been retired between three months and three years had them participate in...

July 1, 2014

Even though crafters have long recognized the therapeutic effects of knitting and crocheting, A 2013 survey of more than 3,500 knitters worldwide found that 81.5 percent of respondents rated themselves as feeling happier after knitting. Research has shown the connection between hobbies like...

June 29, 2014

Highlights from The Society for the Arts in Dementia Care's permanent art collection will be a focal point at the Celebration of Creativity Festival, which runs from July 4-27. A lecture series on topics related to arts and dementia care will take place throughout the event. Topics include...

June 23, 2014

At 90, Barbara Beskind is by far the oldest member of a dynamic team working on design for food, packaging, electronics, and aging-related items, at one of the world’s most famous firms. She is also one of its newest members, and this is her sixth career change. Among her previous jobs were...

June 20, 2014

Donna Moraff always wanted to be an artist, but like many baby boomers, her parents set her on a more “practical” career course. She helped to satisfy her urge for creative expression by designing and making her own clothes, but it still wasn’t enough. She always sketched in her free...

June 19, 2014

Since she was a child, 94-year-old Daphne Odjig has been a talented artist. She primarily worked in painting, but learned embroidery from her mother and soapstone sculpted from her grandfather. Her most famous work is a 27 foot mural. But when arthritis began taking its toll, she knew that she wouldn’t be able to paint again....

June 17, 2014

Everyone’s brain has an internal rhythm, that speeds up for more intense activities and slows down for more calm ones. These cadences play a role from mental activities, like concentrating, to physical ones, like walking. Disruptions in the brains normal firing patterns are a symptom of diseases like Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia,...

June 14, 2014
Multiple research studies show that bilingual people have many cognitive advantages, especially as they age.  For those who have been bilingual since childhood, they may be able to adapt better to unexpected circumstances. For those who have more recently learned their second language, older adults earned higher scores on their intelligence tests in comparison to ones taken when they were younger. There is also a correlation showing a delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease by 4-5 years...
June 13, 2014
A new study shows that older adults who participate in dance experience less hip and knee pain and walk faster. Those who walk faster are at less of a risk for falls, and because the speed of walking is recognized as an important predictor of health throughout aging. The study’s participants were mostly women with an average age of 80. They were divided into two groups-- one that danced 45 minutes up to twice a week, and one that carried on with their regular physical routines. The dance...
June 11, 2014
Fredericksburg held its eighth annual expo focusing on active adult aging, titled “The Art of Aging: Life begins at 50.” One of the main goals of the expo was to show older adults all of the resources available to them through the nonprofit partnership, Partners in Aging. Events included therapy dog meetings and free blood pressure screenings, ballroom dancing and yoga demonstrations, and even the display of a 3-D printer. 
Fredericksburg.com News Desk, Jun 11, 2014...
June 3, 2014
90 percent of older adults wish to stay in their current homes for as long as they can, but may not be able to if they are unable to take care of their own daily needs-- often a result of a decline in muscle strength due to sedentary lifestyle. An assistant professor from Indiana University designed a “3-Step Workout for Life” program to help adults maintain their independence. The 10 week program spends its first half focusing on fitness, and its second focusing on strength in everyday...
June 1, 2014
Milwaukee, Wisconsin is seen as a leader in integrating creativity into adult care, due to a major initiative known as the Creative Trust. One of the programs utilized is TimeSlips, a program for engaging adults with memory loss in creative storytelling. Other activities making up the Creative Trust in this area include group art workshops and collaborations between older and younger artists in a festival. These movements are based on the notion that persons with memory loss do best when...
May 29, 2014
In order to bridge the gap between younger and older members of the Ridgefield, Connecticut Community, the Ridgefield High School National Honors Society and Founder’s Hall threw a “Senior Senior Prom.” The event gave seniors who did not have the opportunity to attend their own proms, or just wanted to do it again, the chance to dress up and dance alongside their high school senior counterparts. Music included anything from the 1920’s to today’s popular songs. Participants in the...
May 28, 2014
Moderate exercise is good for everyone, and especially older adults. Just a 20-minute walk a day could help seniors hold off major disability and enhance the quality of their life, according to new findings by the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study.  The LIFE study involved 1,635 adults ages 70-89 who were mostly sedentary and in danger of losing their mobility.  The results of the daily walks in this group was a 28% reduction in long-term mobility loss,...
May 27, 2014
Even if an older adult doesn’t feel old, they still have the right to focus on their health and celebrate their past accomplishments during Older Americans Month. A study found that, after 50, most people feel 10 years younger than they are. Pew Research surveyed 3,000 adults-- Among those 65 to 74, one-third said they felt 10 to 19 years younger, and one-sixth of those 75 and older said they felt 20 years younger. The majority of older adults remain vigorous, engaged with activities and...
May 27, 2014
Every May since 1963 has been celebrated as “Older Americans Month,” to honor all that older adults do for our communities. This year’s theme focuses on injury prevention and safety to encourage older adults to protect themselves and remain active and independent for as long as possible. The Senior Center of Devil’s Lake, North Dakota is encouraging older adults to learn about the variety of ways they can avoid the leading causes of injury, like falls.
Devil’s Lake Journal...
May 27, 2014
This year, residents at Oakwood Common in Michigan will have the opportunity to attend five performances by Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians. In this interactive program, the performers come to Oakwood’s campus and talk openly about their history with music, inviting questions from audience members. The residents will also have a chance to complete hands-on arts projects when they attend a garden marker pottery workshop in June. 
Dearborn Press & Guide, May 27...
May 24, 2014
Artists, musicians, writers, actors and craftspeople over age 60 will showcase their work this weekend at the Second Spring Arts Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This is the second year of the Second Spring Festival, and it has drawn double the number of participants and exhibitors from 2013. Festival highlights include a performance by the N.C. Black Repertory Co. of excerpts from the musical “Crowns,” and the “2014 Second Spring Literary Anthology,” which includes stories,...
May 7, 2014
As part of the "National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military,” Americans for the Arts invited musicians to play songs at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for music therapy. The program also teaches patients how to play musical instruments, and many have expressed how much music has helped them through their recovery process. Music therapy was first developed as a profession in WWI, and in the 1930’s scientists discovered that certain sounds had huge healing...
May 7, 2014
174 participants with a median age of 57 took part in a 10-week study that evaluated the effects of different treatments for depression in older adults. The participants were divided into three groups-- one who was asked to write about emotional experiences each day, one control group, and one that took part in a daily “life review” where they evaluated past experiences. The study found that while depression rates spiked at the midway point for the life review group, they were the lowest...
April 28, 2014
A new analysis shows that listening to religious music helps seniors increase their life satisfaction and self-esteem, and decreases anxiety around death. The study collected responses from 1,000 older adults who were either practicing christians, identified as christian in their past, or were unaffiliated. 
McKnight’s, April 28, 2014
April 22, 2014

Recently, students from High Point University in North Carolina visited local senior centers to work with residents: sharing, reciting, and writing poetry together. One pre-med student celebrated the health benefits of their visits, “Multiple studies show that reading and reciting poetry out loud can lower blood pressure, regulate heart and breathing rates, and activate regions of the brain associated with introspection and memory.”
High Point University, April 22, 2014
...

April 20, 2014

More older adults are online today than ever before. More than just a source of fun and information, the Internet provides an opportunity for older adults to easily connect with people around the world. Research shows that those with the Internet in their homes are 33 percent less likely to suffer from depression, possibly because the Internet reduces feelings of isolation.
Michigan State University, April 20, 2014
...

April 19, 2014

Compassionate behaviors are associated with better health and well-being as we age, helping to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Who is most likely to be compassionate? Women, those who have suffered a loss recently, and those with high mental resiliency.
PsychCentral, April 19, 2014
More

April 7, 2014

Next month, London, Canada will host Canada’s second ever creative aging festival. The festival, showcasing the talents of older adults, will include blogging how-tos, art exhibits, improv theater, drumming, and more.
The Londoner, April 7, 2014
More

April 4, 2014

A new study from Pew Research examines how older adults are using technology. Although older adults are traditionally late adopters of technology, today nearly 60 percent of seniors go online regularly and nearly half of those who go online are using social networking sites. What’s next? Smartphones. While 50 percent of Americans have a smartphone, only 18 percent of older adults do.
The Financial, April 4, 2014
...

April 3, 2014

Business creation by older Americans grew more than 60 percent between 1996 and 2012. Technology has lowered the barrier to entry for many, but older adults have unique advantages over younger people: money and contacts.
NPR, April 3, 2014
Full story

March 19, 2014

Age U.K., a British advocacy group for older adults, released a beautiful PSA that celebrates the joys and advantages of aging. The ad, titled "Love Later Life," features a poem by English beat poet Roger McGough about his own aging that is expertly read by 91-year-old actor, Sir Christopher Lee.
Ad Week, March 19, 2014
More

March 18, 2014

At the Aging in America conference earlier this month, one panel discussion, “Elder Rock n’ Roll Musicians Reflect on Aging,” showcased insights from musical legends like Ringo Star, Keith Richards, Phil Lesh, Joni Mitchell, and Grace Slick. The panel addressed those who criticize rock musicians for playing past their 60s and 70s.
Forbes, March 18, 2014
More...

March 16, 2014

Today’s retirees are more active than previous generations, finding creative ways to spend their time and money. The number of overseas travelers over 50 has climbed dramatically in the past ten years and more are getting involved in adventure vacations like hiking in the Himalayas and biking through the Andes.
The Washington Post, March 16, 2014
...

March 12, 2014

There is a growing number of older adults who are taking up visual art for the first time later in life. With their wisdom and focus, these indivduals are particularly well suited to painting and sculpting. Additionally, the arts are good for seniors. Gay Hanna, executive director of NCCA, said, “The arts cause worlds to open. For seniors whose worlds are often shrinking, that’s a good thing; to be open, free, engaged, and valued. And the arts sure can do all that for you.”
New...

March 12, 2014

According to a nationwide study conducted by the National Center for Creative Aging, Maryland, Washington, and Colorado top the list of the best states for brain health. Researchers looked at 21 different factors in the state-by-state comparison, including diet, physical health, mental health and social well-being.
Pudget Sound Business Journal, March 12, 2014
...

March 3, 2014

Arts Escape, a nonprofit arts enrichment center for seniors, is offering an event in Southbury Connecticut that will give older adults a creative outlet through literature, music, and visual arts. When explaining the importance of the event, Arts Escape founder, Becky Butler, cites NCCA research on the benefits of the arts in the lives on seniors.
Republican American, March 3, 2014
More...

February 23, 2014

Ed Clark, 87, is a nationally acclaimed abstract expressionist painter in New York City. As he has aged, his creativity and career have continued, undiminished. Physical restrictions have changed the style of his strokes, from forceful to fluid, not limited them. This month, the Tilton Gallery in New York celebrated his work in an exhibit titled “Edward Clark: Big Bang,” which featured nine works, all of which he painted in his 70s or 80s.
New York Times, February 23, 2014...

February 11, 2014
A new study from The Journal of Consumer Research looks at what makes people happy relative to their age. The research concludes that while younger adults find pleasure in extraordinary events, as people get older they place more value in the everyday. Older adults find the most pleasure in stable activities, experiences that “become central to a sense of self...
February 7, 2014
86-year-old Murray Stein is a Texan artist who devotes himself to intricate woodworking and has produced everything from his dining room set to a French horn made of 85 pieces of pine. Believing that this type of work, work that challenges both the mind and the hands, keeps seniors healthier longer, Stein helped to found Like Minded Friends, an arts...
February 4, 2014
Like many major cities, Toronto has seen exponential growth in its senior population, which is expected to double in the next 20 years. One resident has an unconventional idea to update the senior center model by creating “senior cafes,” coffee-shop style gathering places.
...
February 2, 2014
Lucy Rose Fischer is a former researcher with a career in gerontology that spanned 25 years. Now 69, she has recently published a book that provides a humorous look at her own aging process. In this article, she lauds her retirement as it has allowed her time to pursue one of her life-long passions: art. Fischer is using her retirement to explore a second...
January 31, 2014

Nintendo is based out of Japan where, as of 2005, one-fifth of the population is over the age of 65. Nintendo is one of many Japanese companies who are looking into ways of using technology to help older people stay active and age at home. Nintendo is hoping to use the model of popular games like Wii Sport and Wii Fit to develop products that make physical therapy and health-monitoring...

January 31, 2014

In Alberta Canada, a new program has been enacted in 11 long-term care homes to provide music, exercise, and art as alternatives to antipsychotic drugs. . This is a pilot program that the creators hope to roll out to all 164 long-term care homes in Alberta by 2015. The team created a tool kit to “help staff work with residents who might benefit from no longer using an antipsychotic.” So...

January 29, 2014
Dianne Shannon, an art therapist in Arizona, spends her time working with people with dementia. With one patient, Shannon tried various art materials – paint, pencils, pastels, and more – but it was only when she tried collage that she saw any results. Prior to picking up collage, the patient couldn’t focus for 15 minutes. After, she could spend hours working...
January 20, 2014
New research from Tübingen University in Germany shows that as we get older our brains don’t become weaker, they become more powerful. Like a computer, the brains of older adults slow down because they know more, meaning there is more information to sort through.
...
January 1, 2014
The Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University has developed an intergenerational art program for people with dementia in nine locations throughout southwestern Ohio. What makes this program different from other arts engagement programs is its intergenerational component. Each elder is paired with a trained college student for the course of a semester to...
December 1, 2013

Dancers who succeed on the big stage have immense talent, but struggle through financial hardships. To support themselves, they take on odd jobs like working at the front desk of a health spa or helping a jeweler to increase their distribution. Allison Patel, who stopped...

November 30, 2013

New Bern Home Instead Senior Care in North Carolina kicked off their second annual Be a Santa to a Senior program, where people donate presents, trees, ornaments, and other holiday items to senior homes across three counties. Last year, the program collected...

November 30, 2013

Dr. Melany Hars, from Geneva University Hospitals, says that a certain 6-month program, Jacques-Dalcroze eurhythmics, shows improvement in mood and cognition benefits in older adults. Jacques-Dalcroze eurhythmics is a specific, music-based training program...

November 27, 2013

People are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease than they were 20 years ago according to the New England Journal of Medicine...

November 21, 2013

Using art to combat the nasty effects of Alzheimer’s Disease can produce astonishing results. Music and art stimulate the brain in the areas that Alzheimer’s cannot touch, bypassing the debilitating disease and giving affected people a reprieve.. Art,...

November 21, 2013
Though some artists may claim their creativity disappeared later in life, trying new things and adapting one’s art form may lead to new found creativity. “Those people who have from the beginning developed complex lives with multiple interests and multiple talents, and continued to develop psychological complexity and tolerance for ambiguity, those people...
November 20, 2013

For the past 13 years LifeSpan’s Hillsdale Senior Resource Center has been providing entertainment and services for older adults at the Dormont Borough Building in Pennsylvania. In the early 2000’s, the center introduced art classes and opportunities into...

November 19, 2013

Marian Cannon Schlesinger, age 101, paints, writes, watches Rachel Maddow, and reads two newspapers every day. She does all these things because that is what she wants to be doing, and she believes that everyone should continue down the path of their desires. Throughout her life, Schlesinger has written and illustrated five children’s books as well as released a memoir last...

November 18, 2013

In Comox Valley, British Columbia, Canada, a group of kindergartners from Valley View visits Berwick Comox Valley senior center every week to learn alongside older adults. According to Karen Reimer, a Valley View kindergarten teacher, this experience “gives...

November 16, 2013

In honor of National Memory Screening Day, an initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health offered free public screenings on ...

November 14, 2013

The First Ward Senior Center in Binghamton, New York, offers art therapy to their residents. This art class gives many older adults a wonderful time and many participants come every week. The class even has an unofficial emblem; a hat with the word ‘Art’ on...

November 4, 2013

According to a recent study, putting a child through early music lessons helps keep the brain sharper as they age. The latest findings show that early musical training leads to faster neuron responses to speech sounds and that it has a lasting, positive...

October 29, 2013

The Burbank Artist Colony is one of three communities set to revolutionize the retirement home concept. These communities are essentially one big arts camp, with classes taught every day in every art form possible. The homes bring in college-level professors to teach classes and to challenge the residents as much as they can. "It's just real busy," says Dwan Smith-Fortier, a resident of the Colony. "There are computer classes. There are filmmaking classes. There's how to use your iPad to...

October 28, 2013

Artist Pamala Crabb chronicled a very personal topic; she was able to record her father’s journey through Alzheimer ’s disease. Crabb was very reluctant to showcase her works but took a shot at an exhibition in Rochester, NH, and received an overwhelming positive response. Powered by the knowledge that her artwork connects with people who have gone through similar experiences, she will display over two dozen pieces at Whitney Galleries in Wales, Maine. “Doing this work has helped me deal...

October 26, 2013

Larry Reed, a retired Philadelphia School District teacher, began a second career 12 years ago as the associate director at the Senior Adult Activities Center in Montgomery County, PA. He has gathered many wonderful stories by listening to all of the retiree’s stories that come through the Center. Many seniors have said that the Center and its programming has been helpful in keeping them active and engaged. “Our motto here is ‘Live full, live well and live long,’” Reed said. “We try to help...

October 23, 2013

At the Fremont Family YMCA, three times a week, faithful dancers come to practice dance steps and to let the music lead them. The class, called “Forever Fit,” is designed to allow older adults to stretch their bodies beyond everyday movements and keep their energy fresh. “Many of us are in our 80s,” said Joyce Ball, a 30 year participant in the class. “It’s great to have a little rhythm in your life.”
Fremont Tribune, October 23, 2013
...

October 22, 2013

Researchers at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found through a study that poor sleep quality may have an impact on Alzheimer’s disease onset and progression. The study examined the correlation between sleep variables and a biomarker for Alzheimer’s. “Our study found that among older adults, reports of shorter sleep duration and poorer sleep quality were associated with higher levels of beta amyloid measured by PET scans of the brain,” said Adam Spira, PhD, lead author of...

October 21, 2013

A study has shown that trying new things is more beneficial than just keeping the brain active. In the study, participants were divided into three groups: learning digital photography, quilting, or both. The study’s purpose is to see what learning a brand new skill does for the brain and memory compared to an activity that is relatively familiar. According to Dr. Denise Park, of Texas University in Dallas, "The findings suggest engagement alone is not enough. The three learning groups were...

October 11, 2013

The Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre, located in India, is offering older adults a chance to explore and express their theatrical talents. Abhinaya has a history of hosting these workshops and retaining participants. “This may be a novel idea in the theatre culture of the state. Many a people who are well past their 50s and 60s were part of various programmes conducted by Abhinaya. Their motivation is not money or fame but pure love for drama. They are coming to get a theatre experience,”...

October 7, 2013

Minnesota arts educators are traditionally well-trained at working with children. ArtSage, a local nonprofit, is hoping to build a strong program geared towards using art with the elderly and those with special needs. The idea is fueled by research that shows that older adults who are more engaged in artistic and stimulating activities are less likely to need medication, visit the doctor, or have depression. “Our goal is to create an army of arts-trained teachers and arts organization to...

October 5, 2013

A study originating from the University of California in San Francisco is showing signs that video games can be a powerful exercise vehicle for the aging brain. The team said they recently found a custom-designed video game that can be used to assess cognitive abilities across a lifespan. The study doesn’t show that video games make elderly people better at multitasking or smarter, but shows that specifically-designed games could boost the memories and brainpower of older adults.
...

August 8, 2013

Writer Max Perry suggests that forgetting something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a precursor to dementia. “The fact that you can't retrieve the name of that Indian restaurant where you ate last week... doesn't mean that Alzheimer's is imminent,” Perry said. Younger generations, who supposedly have stellar memories, forget details and events all the time. There’s so much information that people have to remember that it is impossible to recall every single detail. “Forget about what you're...

August 8, 2013

Ruza Jarnevic, native of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has a thing about keeping her family’s feet warm — and that isn’t about to change just because she’s getting on in years. Jarnevic turns 100 today and, besides her remarkable age and health, her chief claim to fame is her knitting. She diligently sets out to make slippers for every member of her family. Whether it is July or January, she makes sure there are slippers to keep everyone warm.
Mississauga.com
...

August 5, 2013

The Columbus Museum of Art has been hosting older adults with Alzheimer’s and their caretakers with their Sparkling Imagination Tour. The goal of the program is to create an environment where these people feel welcome and are intellectually stimulated. Hopefully, the art exposure triggers some neurons in their brain and helping them recover some of the memories they’ve lost or even create new ones. "It's a place where they can leave the disease outside and come in and have a really...

August 1, 2013

In the city of Evanston, Illinois, the Lakeshore Arts Festival at Dawes Park featured an interactive loom where the audience created this multi-colored, mutli-textured art piece. The pieces of fabric that was used in the creation had the participant’s perspectives on aging written on them and creating an art piece that spans across generations.
Chicago Tribune
...

July 27, 2013

The Senior Pops Orchestra out of Long Island is comprised of a wide range of ages, from 20-somethings to octogenarians, and are able to connect through the commonality of the Orchestra. Senior Pops Orchestra performs 12 free shows throughout the year in Long Island parks and are kept afloat by donations and grants. The group creates a community that the members can always associate with. According to according to Tobi Abramson, director of the Center for Gerontology and Geriatrics at the...

July 25, 2013

Joan Jeffri, formerly Director of Arts Administration at Columbia University and now heading the Research Center on Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging and author of the book Above Ground, tackles the question of whether older professional artists have better health or well being because of their lifelong affiliation with the arts. Her book has the findings of a study she performed about this very question. She interviewed 146 individuals with backgrounds in the arts...

July 21, 2013

93-year-old Domenica Bianchi has seen significant improvement in her moods while listening to music from Italy; her birthplace. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago and has been much more relaxed and happy since she got her blue iPod shuffle a few months ago. She received the iPod from the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto as a part of a project called the iPod Project, a project modeled after Music and Memory, a non-profit based in New York.
Toronto Star
...

July 21, 2013

Marty Aronson, of South Bend, North Dakota, has logged over 7,000 miles in her local YMCA pool. Any chance she had, especially after retirement, Marty always tried to get in at least a mile at the Y pool. “I think the main reason I lived so long is my swimming,” she said. “But I had to give that up a few years ago. I sure miss it.”
South Bend Tribune
...

July 18, 2013

More than 70 new Senior Theatre plays have been published, expanding the number of works available for older performers. The shows were chosen from hundreds of submissions for ArtAge’s newly released 2014 Senior Theatre Resource Center catalog. They include skits, short plays, musicals, and more. The resources are useful for Senior Theatre companies, senior centers, retirement communities, community theatres, and any site where older adults gather. There’s something for everyone, from rank...

July 5, 2013

Sound therapy has been in practice for more than 25 years and has been used since the 1940’s in nursing homes and elderly care facilities. With today’s technological advancements, supplying the music therapy to an individuals home has become much easier, making the technology accessible to many more older adults. According to research, a regular dose of high frequency and varied sounds stimulates the cortex of the brain and releases latent energy and builds brain connections.
...

July 5, 2013

Older people are proving that you don’t have to be famous - or even a professional artist - to live a creatively fulfilling life at an older age. At the North Hollywood Senior Arts Colony, exhibitions and rehearsals that show off the artwork and talents of the residents seem to be on constant display throughout the colony. Equipped with many painting studios, sculpture studios and a fully equipped theater, the colony provides many creative outlets for older adults to express themselves....

July 2, 2013

The Leadership Winter Park program - a community awareness project for business leaders - created Leadership Legends, a program geared towards older adults that gives the participants a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the community. While meeting once a week for four weeks, the participants get to go on numerous tours and take on projects like experiencing the history of the area via the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour.
Seminole Voice
...

June 29, 2013

Dr. Daniel Potts noticed the connecting ability that fine arts have on older adults who have Alzheimer’s with their families and communities while being the primary caretaker for his father, Lester Potts. Expressive arts like drawing, painting, music, dancing, drama, and storytelling can validate the person in the present and helps them pull their life stories into the present. “A rich, stimulating environment is so important to all of us, lifelong,” said Dr. Potts. Many day programs for...

June 29, 2013

The Society for Contemporary Craft’s Satellite Gallery is being presented in the lobby of Steel Plaza T-Station in downtown Pittsburgh. The travelling exhibit features 13 ceramic sculptures by artist George Roby and 28 black-and-white photographs by Herbert Ascherman Jr. that deal with the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

MORE

June 27, 2013

In an opinion piece written by Heather Campbell, the overreliance of antipsychotic drugs can have a physically and mentally crippling effect on older adults. Too many people have watched their aging parents live their final years in a chemical straightjacket. Part of the problem is the amount of residents occupying retirement homes and being sent to doctors who can easily distribute antipsychotic drugs. Some solutions to this problem is to create more personalized care coupled with sensor...

June 26, 2013

Pacifica Senior Living in Northridge has been participating in the Music and Memory Program, in which residents who have dementia listen to music, chosen by family members, at least once a day. This project has seen patients improve in multiple areas, including lessening agitation, increased recollection and an improved appetite. “Perhaps by using music to activate the networks that are still there, we can elevate the mood and improve the quality of life for these patients,” said Dr. Josh...

June 26, 2013

At the Westmeath Residential and Nursing Care Home in Ireland, many older adults have found a new way to enjoy themselves. Some of the participants have Alzheimer’s and dementia and were presumed to be “too far gone” to be able to participate in art, yet are finding joy within the arts. The participants all come from different artistic backgrounds: some with little to no experience, some who have been painting for years, and some who are rediscovering their love for painting. Regardless of...

June 26, 2013

At the Queen of Angels Academy, an all-girls school in Dorval, Quebec, Canada, 16 students received valuable life lessons from outside the classroom. The girls were paired up with local older adults and spent multiple two-hour sessions delving into the details of their lives. The girls were assigned with writing personal memoirs for the seniors and were able to learn about the lives of many interesting people like former Olympic sailor Pierre Desjardins.
The West Island Chronicle...

June 24, 2013

CEO Mark D. Weiner reflects on his involvement with the Council for Jewish Elderly (CJE) and is now in his 10th year as CEO and President of the organization. Throughout his years working with Jewish older adults Mr. Weiner has incorporated many art activities into the programs run by CJE. During CJE Adult Day Services on Howard Street, Chicago, he saw the rejuvenating power that arts has with older adults with Alzheimer’s and other diseases and the joy that came from the socialization and...

June 19, 2013

Research has shown that pursuing the fine arts later in life is known to help stimulate the aging brain. “Recent discoveries in neuroscience confirm that the brain, even beyond age 60 - if it’s fed a diet of complexity, newness and problem solving - can continuously develop throughout life,” said Francine Toder, a recently retired clinical psychologist. Activities that involve problem-solving and complex tasks feed the brain new information and works it like a muscle. As we get older, we...

June 12, 2013

In an article written by Dr. Linda S. Noelker, Board President for the National Center for Creative Aging, the baby boomer generation is targeted as a generation that could really benefit from the arts to help stay mentally sharp as they grow older. Research has shown that participating in the creative or performing arts can positively affect cognitive health, physical health and even social well-being for all ages. The National Center for Creative Aging’s website provides many events that...

June 9, 2013

June was Seniors’ Month in Welland, Ontario, Canada. The purpose of the month was to recognize and celebrate everything that older adults do for the local community. They kicked off the month with an event at the Welland Community Wellness Complex. Former Commissioner of Community and Social Services for the Region Brian Hutchings was the keynote speaker at the event that featured music courtesy of Polka king Walter Ostanek and Centennial Secondary School’s Achoired Taste vocal group....

June 6, 2013

The NoHo Senior Arts Colony in New York City is a colony of former, up-and-coming and current artists. The only requirement is that each resident must be 62 years or older. The colony is filled with motivated and talented artists and performers that continue to work their craft and put on performances and exhibits for everyone to enjoy. The Colony is assisted by EngAGE, a nonprofit dedicated to creative and healthy aging.

NoHoArtDistrict.com

...

June 6, 2013

Retirees in China are attending “schools for the aged” in order to keep their minds sharp and active after leaving the workforce. However, there are very limited spaces and the number of retirees is growing much faster than the amount of classes and spots offered, making it harder and harder for Chinese seniors to continue learning and staying fresh. Chu Shijun, the vice president of the Beijing Haidian University for Seniors, believes that the demand for senior schools will spur the...

June 6, 2013

The Anchor Community Band, comprised of 350 residents throughout the Anchor housing network for seniors, wrote and performed their own song titled See Yourself and recorded the work of art. The single was released on Monday with all proceeds going to the charity, Contact the Elderly. “We want to shout about the great work Contact the Elderly does and we want to give old people a voice, in quite a literal way”, said Carl Martin, the musical director and wellbeing manager for the retirement...

June 4, 2013

The attitude you take can make a world of difference when it comes to getting older. Writer Virginia Bell talks about her personal struggle with turning 70 and compared it initially to being stuck in Siberia. She then has a realization that there are more opportunities now than ever for seniors in the working sphere. Big businesses have traditionally ignored the elderly. But with the recent trend of people living longer lives and with 34 million people who are 65 or older, the business...

May 29, 2013

The National Institutes of Aging (NIA), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at NIH, and the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) has come together to explore the ways in which artistic expression can benefit the health and wellness of older adults. The research is showing that acting and singing improve the quality of life of older adults. Both acting and singing had...

May 29, 2013

The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is hosting a lecture by Dr. Bruce Miller and Dr. Daniel C. Potts, both of whom are conducting research into the effects of art on an aging mind. Dr. Miller, a professor of neurology and a director of the University of California, San Francisco's Memory and Aging Center, sat down for a few questions before the lecture. “Dr. Jeff Cummings wrote the first paper that I was aware of, and he described an artist whose work went from realism to...

May 27, 2013

Ryuta Kawashima, a Japanese neuroscientist, developed a brain puzzle software for Nintendo that has been sold for over $30 million dollars. He has poured all of his profits into developing this new software;geared towards older adults. “Brain exercises have been shown to expand the cortex of healthy young people ... so why not the old?” He said. In a small-sample study in Cleveland, Ohio, older adults with severe dementia showed some recovery of old memories as well as alleviation of...

May 25, 2013

The River Red Senior Community, in conjunction with United Active Living, have converted a former recreation room into a permanent art room in order to create more artistic opportunities for their residents. The purpose is to bring out the residents’ creativity as they continue to age. The arts are also therapeutic for older adults who are going through loss or struggling with being alone. Art is great for the spirit and for a person’s quality of life.

Stalbert Gazzette...

May 16, 2013

In Philadelphia, the month-long “Celebrating Arts for Aging” program put on by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging featured many different programs and opportunities for seniors to experience and even show off their talents. A flash mob was even caught on camera featuring 20 seniors dressed in red vests, white shirts and patriotic bowties who sang patriotic classics such as God Bless America in front of the Independence Visitors Center.

CBS Philadelphia
...

May 14, 2013

Listening to music is widely used by athletes to focus the mind and calm the nerves. Music is proven to lift fatigue in athletes and raise oxygen levels in the blood. So what effect does music have on the elderly? Dr. Sacks has conducted tests with people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease who listened to music from their childhood and has seen interesting results. “I regard music therapy as a tool of great power in many neurological disorders - Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s - because...

April 29, 2013

 

Bay Area Older Adults (BAO) is an organization that offers physical, social, and cultural programs to the community’s older population. Founded in 2008 by Anne Ferguson, BAO promotes healthy living with activities such as hikes, cooking classes, and museum tours. Ferguson’s inspiration for BAO was her grandparents’ love for nature and the outdoors. The organization also provides a free resource with over 1,500 listings for other programs in the Bay Area. 
Bay...
April 25, 2013

Baltimore celebrates Older Americans Month throughout May with this year’s theme “Unleash the Power of Age.” Events will be sponsored by The Administration for Community Living and the Administration on Aging, which encourage older adults to stay active in the community. In Howard County, the Maryland Department of Aging will host the Governor’s Leadership in Aging Awards “to recognize individuals and groups for excellence and outstanding contributions to...

April 24, 2013

Montreal will open the world’s first dance therapy center in response to ongoing research revealing the many benefits of dance on physical impairments and other personal challenges. The opening is sponsored by Quebec’s Health Ministry, Ste. Justine Hospital, and local universities. It represents the joint efforts of health providers and arts organizations to find innovative treatments...

April 24, 2013

 

In 2009, the Haliburton Highlands Arts Council launched Visible Voices, a program that trained caregivers to use art therapy with isolated seniors. The participants were able to practice sculpting, storytelling, dance, and many other activities. Researchers monitored the seniors’ progress during...

April 19, 2013

 

A recent study from Berkeley’s Data Driven Decisions found that a storytelling program involving older adults and economically disadvantaged children had significant improvements on the children’s language art skills and test scores. Stagebridge, the first theatre company for older adults based in Oakland, California, launched the “Storybridge Listening and Speaking Program” in 2004. The program brought seniors into San Francisco classrooms to assist students in comprehension,...

April 19, 2013

 

Fashion designer and Home Shopping Network host Diane Gilman has learned to truly embrace the golden years by making changes to her daily life and taking on new business ventures. She discusses her new philosophy in her book, “Good Jeans: 10 Simple Truths About Feeling Great, Staying Sexy and Aging Agelessly.” Now in her late 60s, Gilman established her own line of jeans for middle aged women, which has been incredibly successful thus far. She hopes this accomplishment will not...
April 16, 2013

 

Exeter University conducted a study that explored how older adults assessed their physical health and frailty. Researchers found that participants who believed they were weak were more likely to have decreased daily activity and exercise. Conversely, those who believed they were somewhat healthy, even if they were...

April 11, 2013

At age 85, Mary Higgins Clark has authored over forty books and is currently working on her next story, “Daddy’s Gone a Hunting.” She is best known for her mystery novels, but has dabbled in other genres as well. Clark began as a radio script writer and also contributed to magazines such as Collier’s and The Saturday Evening Post. She was widowed in 1964 and soon found that writing was both an enjoyable hobby and a way to earn extra money for her family. Her storytelling skills were...

April 4, 2013

The 2013 Elder Care Fair in Marble Falls, Texas, will feature over 50 organizations that offer programs for older adults in the area. Organizations include the Harmony School of Creative Arts, which emphasizes the positive effects of arts on aging. “Studies have shown that challenging, participatory...

March 29, 2013

Phyllis Sues believes she owes her “healthy body and mind” to her ability to learn something new every day. At age 50, she started her own fashion label, and at age 70 she became a musician and learned Italian and French. At 80 years old, Phyllis learned to tango and trapeze. Today she is 90 and loves to...

March 27, 2013

The Mesa Arts Center in Arizona recently launched a Creative Aging program to engage seniors in the arts through both visual expression and physical movement. The program has become extremely popular in the last year as a way for seniors to meet new friends and explore their inner creative abilities. The exercises also work on building confidence for the participants. “For a lot of people it’s the first time in their lives when they feel creatively...

March 26, 2013

ST-AGE-ING MATTERS is a group of retired older adults in British Columbia who have only recently begun learning about acting and improvisational theatre. They refer to themselves as the “gerry actors,” and work under the direction of acting teacher and arts professional Ruth Bieber. The group of seniors has received praise for their performance “Acting Out Our Issues,” in which the...

March 26, 2013

 

Summer camps for older people are becoming more common, with over 800 programs serving about one million adults per year. They range from food and wine experiences in Napa Valley to ice skating lessons taught by Olympic gold medalist Dorothy Hamill. There are also programs for adventure outdoors...

March 20, 2013

Judi Dench, 78-year-old star of the latest James Bond movie Skyfall, admits that she faces many common challenges of aging, including memory loss. However, her memory and ability to remember lines has improved dramatically after she began taking fish oil tablets daily. These tablets help boost...

March 20, 2013

Actress Morgan Fairchild, game show host Pat Sajack, and other famed adults nearing retirement age offer wisdom on how to maintain an active lifestyle after having a full time job. “The last third of our lives should always be every bit as exhilarating as the first third,” says Fairchild, who encourages...

March 12, 2013

Despite facing challenges such as declining sight and hearing, 102-year-old Ray Clark exercises regularly with his personal trainer to stay physically fit. His workouts revolve around strength training, which studies show that when performed in a safe and supervised manner, is the most effective form of exercise for older people. It reduces the risk of sarcopenia, which is the natural...

March 11, 2013

 

The Creative Expression Activities Program was established over 10 years ago in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada...

February 27, 2013

Creative-Aging Mid-South has worked in 56 senior facilities and produced over three thousand performances and workshops for older adults across the region. Their workshops include oral history, storytelling, weaving, watercolor, and many more. Creative Aging Mid-South’s success is owed to the cooperation of Meryl Klein and Terrie Kirksey who have dedicated several years to programming at senior centers. Kirksey, who spent almost thirty years at one facility, brought her expertise in...

February 21, 2013

Born in France, Roger Dagorn is a famed wine expert and one of the oldest working sommeliers in New York. Over the years he has brought his skills to several restaurants in the city and currently works at both Tocqueville and 15 East restaurants near Union Square. The profession is fairly uncommon for older individuals because of the physical labor and long hours. However, Roger has...

February 21, 2013

When the AARP Magazine began its Movies for Grownups column 12 years ago, it had trouble finding enough material to fill the page. Today, movies with central themes of aging, such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ...

February 18, 2013

Susan Stamberg started her career at NPR in 1972 when she was the only female nightly news anchor on national television and radio. Since then, Susan has anchored four different radio shows for NPR and learned a lot along the way. Despite losing her husband a few years ago, Susan has remained active in her career and social life. She has traveled all over the world and currently splits...

February 17, 2013

 

The Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts (TAPA) has found great success in its plays that explore themes of aging. The organization is currently showcasing a production titled “Memory,” which will present two plays about aging. These include Arthur Miller’s “I Can’t Remember Anything,” which follows a widow...

February 17, 2013

Seniors in Gainesville, FL find that regular fitness and aerobics classes have helped improve their health significantly since they began. Staying active helps fight blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and several other conditions, as well as helping to accelerate the rehabilitation process. Shirley Waterman, an 81-year-old Gainesville resident, has taught fitness classes to fellow...

February 13, 2013

68-year-old Andrea Peterson was a professional ballerina, model, and aviator before becoming a certified firefighter earlier this year in Hartford, Vermont. Ever since she jumped out of a burning house and into a fireman’s arms when she was a child, she dreamt of pursuing this profession. Andrea described the reactions from the other students who could not believe a petite older woman...

February 13, 2013

 

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kathy Streng teaches the Ageless Grace fitness program to participants of all ages. The program is designed to stretch cognitive and physical abilities without causing stress on the body. Exercises include memory games and practicing balance, and these activities are...

February 3, 2013

Physical therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years as a result of seniors becoming more active in sports and exercise. “It seems like what people are doing now in their 70s is what people used to do in their 50s,” said one physical therapist in Spokane, Washington, who has several older clients that still ski regularly. There is even a concern that there will be a shortage...

February 2, 2013

In Gainesville, Florida, older adults are participating in weekly dance workshops that combine fun, fitness, and creativity. The “Joy of Rhythmic Motion” programs feature several different styles of dance from jazz to modern. They are choreographed by Rusti Brandman, who has experience with performing and teaching and also specializes in dance programs designed for older adults. The...

February 1, 2013

 

Transitional Keys is an organization that assists families during difficult transition periods in an older adult's life. It has provided support and offered ritualistic ideas to help ease common transitions, such as giving up a driver's license or selling a lifelong home. The organization...

January 30, 2013

In 2004, the University Circle Interactive Cleveland (UCIC) created the Senior Connections program, the newest lifelong learning initiative from the University Circle, Inc., education program. Senior Connections makes University Circle and its surrounding education and cultural institutions accessible to elders and those with limited mobility. Via videoconference, elders can chat with students at the Cleveland Institute of Music, questioning ...

January 25, 2013

More and more studies are proving the positive impact of choral singing on physical and mental health. Though this may begin as a childhood activity or subconscious habit, seniors like Louise Greenberg have found that singing is an enjoyable activity that can be pursued at any age. Greenberg was pleased to find Encore Creativity for Older Adults, a program for seniors to practice and...

January 23, 2013

In our effort to continually improve our quality of care services, AgeSong is pleased to introduce Dr. Elise Singer's Share the Visit, a new technology that will allow our families to be even more informed and involved with their loved one's care, even when they cannot physically be on site at the community.

Starting in February, 2013, AgeSong Assisted Living and Elder Communities will be offering ShareTheVisit, a secure Web platform that brings modern-day...

January 18, 2013

Many seniors are finding that retirement has finally allowed them to participate in activities that they never had time to do before. In Cleveland, two couples will take a trip to Israel, a place where they had long dreamed of visiting but never found the time. Before retirement their lives were consumed...

January 17, 2013

Dustin Hoffman has directed his first film at age 75. The film, titled “Quartet,” follows the lives of four main characters living in an old age home in Britain. The characters, including Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, and Pauline Collins, are retired opera singers who decide to perform a...

January 17, 2013

Tai chi is a form of exercise that began in ancient China thousands of years ago. Its focus on careful movement and concentration has led to its popularity among the older population. Studies have shown that this practice has several health benefits, including building strength, improving moods, and...

January 16, 2013

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has returned to the big screen at age 65. Although he admits to being more physically cautious since his days as the Terminator, Schwarzenegger maintains a regular exercise routine and even performed many of his own stunts in his latest movie, “The Last Stand.” His recent...

January 16, 2013
An art exhibit in Kitchener, Canada will open on January 18th to support the Alzheimer Society of Kitchener-Waterloo. The exhibit features several paintings that hope to connect with patients’ memories and inspire these individuals to pursue their own art forms. This idea is based on recent research found that people with dementia dementia were often better...
January 15, 2013

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) has expanded to Humboldt State University in California, where more seniors are returning to school for both educational and recreational courses. The organization has been popular in several areas nationwide, as it highlights the importance of improving the brain throughout the aging process. Seniors can take a variety of classes including...

January 15, 2013

New Zealanders ranging from ages 66 to 96 have formed “The Hip Op-eration Crew” and become the world’s oldest flash mob. The seniors have practiced their moves extensively and will enter the Auckland Regional Hip-Hop Championships in March. Their ultimate goal is to attend the World Hip-Hop Dance Championship this coming August in Las Vegas, NV. Several members are in their late 80s and...

January 11, 2013

In Northern California, Rodney McCoubrey will lead a program aimed at teaching seniors and middle school students how to become environmental folk artists. McCoubrey’s work entails creating art with scraps and other discarded items. He has become a famed artist and hopes his talents will promote...

January 4, 2013

Dr. Richard Senelick explored the importance of art, such as painting, in seniors with dementia. He explained that patients’ artwork demonstrates that they are more self-aware than others perceive them to be. As verbal signals have become more difficult, patients can use art to communicate in other ways. “Expressive arts therapies incorporate a wide range of opportunities for people to communicate,...

December 4, 2012
The Phillips Collection and Iona’s Wellness and Arts Center have created a program for older adults that combines museum education and art therapy. The program uses art to stimulate creativity and spark discussions about the pieces.  Participants visit art galleries to learn about the famous works of Renoir, van Gogh, and Picasso. They then discuss the paintings and create their own works of art that reflect the themes of each lesson. An exhibition of...
December 4, 2012

Many older adults are finding their passions have waited until the second half of their lives to blossom. Prill Boyle, who graduated from Georgetown University at 38 and then became an English teacher, published a book discussing the trend of waiting till later in life to follow one’s dreams. “We’re living longer than previous generations and this gift of extra time is expanding our...

December 4, 2012
Honored as one of the top five Best Intergenerational Communities in America, San Diego County boasts several programs for older adults to stay active in the community and connected with the area’s youth. These programs include Dance Generators, which is a University of San Francisco program that seeks to bridge the age gap through the performing arts. Dance Generators features performers of all ages and levels of dance experience who share a passion for this...
November 29, 2012
In Germany, older adults between 65 and 85 feel an average ten years younger as a result of maintaining social and active lifestyles. Studies show people in this age bracket are generally much happier and healthier than the same age bracket was twenty years ago. This generation brings a new sense of independence, and seniors are finding more and more ways to stay involved. “Preserving health and autonomy is the key issue – people want to maintain their health...
November 27, 2012
Alzheimer’s Centers and other caregiving facilities are looking towards art programs as a new treatment for their patients. They have found that although short term memory may still decline, the long term memories can easily be retrieved with music and storytelling exercises. At NewBridge on the Charles in Dedham, Massachusetts, caregivers have found that singing along to old tunes trigger memories for many of the seniors. Medication is not always effective,...
November 25, 2012
Famed authors are growing older, but their dedication to writing has not ceased. Toni Morrison, who has received several awards for her novels throughout the years, continues to release new works at age 81. There are also several nonagenarians, such as novelist Herman Wouk and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti who have not let aging discourage them from their writing. Many of these authors cite a time when authors such as Ernest Hemingway ended their careers before...
November 22, 2012
A dance instructor since 1948, Therrell Smith has dedicated her life to introducing as many people as possible to the amazing world of dance. At 95-years-old, she volunteers at local schools and teaches classes at her studio in Northeast Washington. Smith is a local celebrity who has danced in New York and Paris, but her passion lies in giving back to the community. “That’s what keeps me going, the children,” says Smith, who does not plan on retiring any time...
November 18, 2012
The Encore Creativity for Older Adults program is inspiring seniors everywhere to stay active in the arts. In Berks County, Pennsylvania, Louise Greenberg has established the Greater Reading Encore Chorale (GREC) to begin in January 2013. The program is open to adults 55 years and older who are interested in learning and performing music for the community. Greenberg credits her idea to Jeanne Kelly, the founder and director of Encore Chorale programs that have...
November 7, 2012
Filmmakers Jonathan Rufo and Keith Ochwat are promoting their newest documentary “Age of Champions,” about the magnificent athletes who compete in the National Senior Olympics.  The film follows a 100-year-old tennis player, among other extraordinary seniors, as they train for Olympics with spirit and vigor. Many of the athletes face health challenges such as arthritis and cancer, but their motivation surpasses any obstacle that could possibly hold them back....
October 29, 2012
Vern Gillmore has been an active Red Cross volunteer for three years. When he heard about the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, he knew he wanted to help. At 80-years-old he left his Utah home for a cross country journey to the mid-Atlantic coast, hoping to do anything he could to help with the damage. “My hobby is volunteering,” Gillmore said nonchalantly. His dedication exemplifies how helping out truly has no boundaries. 
...
October 25, 2012

Kendal Northern Ohio, a branch of The Kendal Corporation, recently released a free exercise guide for older adults interested in becoming active again. The guide, titled “Remaining Active: How to Begin a Regular Exercise Routine,” offers tips and other helpful information to improve physical, mental, and emotional health of adults as they age. It is geared towards those who may be uncertain about how to approach an active lifestyle and is written to acknowledge...

October 23, 2012

The baby boomer generation is entering retirement age, but studies show that these seniors are not yet ready to move into any kind of old age home. More and more members of the 65 and older demographic are using their elder years to travel the world and pursue new hobbies and careers.  They are moving into communities, both urban and rural, that suit their personal needs and lifelong desires. As a result of this trend, the Urban Land Institute is encouraging...

October 18, 2012

The Washington University of St. Louis conducted a study to explore the effects of diet and exercise on the aging population. Their inquiries were prompted by recent news of the growing obesity epidemic that has become a health issue for older adults throughout the country. The study found that overweight seniors who chose a healthy diet as well as regular exercise had physical function and mobility improve by over 20 percent. This was a significantly greater...

October 14, 2012

Summer camps for older adults are becoming more popular as the aging population explores more ways to engage socially and spiritually with others. The Jewish community specifically has found ways to incorporate cultural and religious activities into more traditional camp programs such as swimming and arts and crafts. Seniors can attend lectures, religious services, and travel to nearby landmarks, among many other opportunities the camps offer. Many attendees...

October 12, 2012

In Buffalo, more seniors are experimenting with different sports and exercise programs at local community centers. The city has sponsored several initiatives to promote greater physical activity among the older population, including a free fitness program called Club 99. “Exercise is a lifestyle, and it can power you through any decade of your life,” according medical experts who praise the seniors for their enthusiasm. Physical activity has also contributed to the growing number of...

October 4, 2012

The Chautauqua Institution has become a popular destination for older adults who strive to remain active and engage with others who have similar interests. Each year, seniors from all over the country travel to Chautauqua, New York for all kinds of activities involving fitness and the performing arts. The program offers dance classes, singing lessons, and this year will present a dynamic performance based from scenes of “West Side Story.” They are open to...

October 3, 2012

Dance classes in New Jersey are becoming increasingly popular among the senior community, as these older adults find more creative ways to maintain an active lifestyle. In Hackensack, seniors take classes in ballet, tap, Indian dance, and several other varieties that are offered at community venues. The dance studios found that seniors could take advantage of their programs during the day, when most of their younger students are in school. Elissa Machlin-...

October 3, 2012

The Creve Coeur Arts Commission in Missouri has announced its “Silver Screen Series” film festival to feature positive aging in the community. The commission will work with Maturity and Its Muse, an organization that promotes arts and aging, to host this event next summer. Movies may include:  "The Sunshine Boys," "Calendar Girls," "Grand Torino," "Something's Gotta Give," "About Schneider," "Nobody's Fool," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Million Dollar Baby." The...

September 22, 2012

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart discovered the true power of music when one of his drum rhythms prompted his grandmother to speak for the first time in a whole year. His grandmother, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, was suddenly aware enough to speak Mickey’s name once she heard the familiar rhythm. This noteworthy event is supported by several studies that conclude how music can dramatically improve the brain. Adam Gazzaley, professor of neuroscience at the University of...

September 21, 2012

A new study researched the effects of free bus passes for seniors on their overall physical health. In 2008, England offered free, local bus passes to citizens age 60 and older. The hope was that social engagement among older people would increase and not exclude those with a limited income. The study found that citizens who received the free bus pass were more likely to walk, cycle, and use public buses and trains. It also concluded that those who utilized the bus passes found significant...

September 18, 2012

National Fall Prevention Awareness day is celebrated each year on the first day of fall. The day was established to spread awareness about the increased risk of falls among older adults as they age. According to the CDC, an older person is treated in an emergency room for a fall every 15 seconds. This year, the community of Chattanooga-Hamilton County will offer a free 8-week program for seniors to help improve their balance and prevent falls. The program features tips and activities for...

September 18, 2012

Seniors Enriched Living (SEL) is an organization that has been going strong for 22 years. In Roswell, Georgia, the group visits senior centers to promote both education and entertainment to stimulate aging minds. They offer courses that cover a variety of different subjects from Shakespeare’s plays to learning how to play bridge. SEL provides qualified instructors, many of whom are previous college professors. Their goal is to assist seniors to experience a more meaningful and fulfilling...

September 18, 2012

Retired individuals may find great pleasure in spending their free time volunteering for an organization that interests them. Volunteers are necessary for most operations to run smoothly, and are welcomed in almost every area of interest. In addition, studies show that older people who volunteer are both physically and mentally healthier than those who do not engage in the community. These flexible positions may also lead to greater knowledge, social involvement, and monetary discounts. “If...

September 13, 2012

A survey by USA Today, United Healthcare, and the National Council on Aging found that older people today are finding it easier to manage stress levels and handle health conditions on their own. More than 80 percent of adults over 60 agreed with the statement, “I have a strong sense of purpose and passion about my life and future.” In addition, a majority of respondents believed that as they age, they would either maintain or improve their current successful and enjoyable lifestyles. This...

September 12, 2012

A local nonprofit has launched a program to use music as a tool for curing and preventing signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Senior New Ways, which promotes programs for health in aging, recently started the Vintage Music Therapy for Memory Stabilization and Enhancement program at local senior centers. The program is designed to trigger memories and emotions associated with songs from each individual’s younger years. As residents hear these songs, they will reminisce and...

September 10, 2012

A study by the London’s College University found that seniors can enjoy the same benefits of rigorous exercise when performing regular leisure-time activities. These activities can include biking, gardening, walking, or doing housework or home maintenance. Researchers explain that participants experienced improvements in both physical and mental health, without having to endure cardio or other intensive gym workouts. The study found that engaging in these moderate exercise activities as low...

September 10, 2012

The residents of Ebenezer Ridges Care Center spent two days at Camp Friendship in Annandale, Minnesota. Staff planned the trip when many residents began reminiscing about spending summers on Clearwater Lake. It was an enjoyable experience for all, filled with stories, campfires, and a fish fry.

KARE 11 News

MORE

September 9, 2012

Research continues to support the theory that creative thinking keeps the brain healthy, according to studies conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center. The study associated creativity with openness, which is one of the five major personality traits. Openness refers to the measure of cognitive flexibility and the willingness to entertain novel ideas. Researchers have found several benefits of greater openness, such as longevity, lower metabolic risk, higher self-rated health,...

September 7, 2012

With the aging population growing larger every day, education facilities are looking for ways to adapt a curriculum to suit this new demographic. Older people are not just becoming more interested in expanding their minds, but also hoping to continue their involvement in the job market. Because of this growing need, many institutions are incorporating learning into business models so that employees can expand skills and knowledge throughout their tenure. As technology constantly evolves, it...

September 4, 2012

Symptoms of dementia affect more and more seniors each day, but may not necessarily inhibit their engagement in the creative arts. Sherry S. is a skilled writer who continues to write stories despite the changes dementia has brought to her health. She is an example of how our minds can continue to expand and grow even with mental challenges. Our Executive Director Gay Hanna contributed to the article and stated, “Humans have this enormous capacity to learn, and...

September 2, 2012

Illinois Central College will host “Building an Age Friendly Community,” a program to highlight the increasing number of seniors aging in our society today and how we can improve our community to accommodate their needs. The keynote speaker will be David Baxter of Age Wave, a company focused on marketing for older adults. He explains that today seniors are becoming more active and will continue to make positive contributions to society. "The prior model of a retirement village was...

August 26, 2012

Jeanne Kelly, a lifelong singer, conductor, and professional operatic, has continued to share her talent through her years and encourages others to join her. Her experience includes performing in operas across the nation and conducting the Women’s Glee Club at the U.S. Naval Academy. Most recently in 2007, she founded Encore Creativity for Older Adults, which has become the nation’s largest choral program for adults over age 55. Kelly explains that the idea for Encore sprouted from her...

August 17, 2012

Residents at Eagle Meadow Assisted Living and Retirement Community have created something rather unusual – a garden made of repurposed glassware.  The program was started by art therapist Vicki Pullerm, who came up with the idea while stuck inside during an ice storm.  She encouraged residents to bring in glassware, and piece by piece planted the glassware to begin the glass garden.  The program has since taken off.  “It pushed their creativity; it’s outside the ordinary.  It’s a way of...

August 17, 2012
The Sidney De Haan Research Center for Arts and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University has conducted a randomized controlled trial on the health benefits of community singing on older adults.  “Our research has not only commented previous studies that pointed to an increase in health benefits from community singing programs, but it also demonstrated that singing programs are cost effective method of health promotion…”  The study also allowed the team to monetarily value the results...
August 15, 2012

Retirement is not just for television watching anymore.  EngAGE, based in Los Angeles, CA, provides arts and wellness classes for about 5,000 people living in senior apartment communities.  Many residents who benefit are low income who, “just had to get through life, taking care of things, and the idea of following a dream was not on their radar screens,” said Marueen Keller-Taylor, COO of EngAGE.  EngAGE is also the mastermind behind the Burbank Senior Artist Colony, which opened in 2005...

August 14, 2012

Bruce Miller, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco is the 2012 recipient of the Gene D. Cohen Research Award in Creativity and Aging.  The annual award recognizes and honors the work of Dr. Gene Cohen, whose research in the field of creativity and aging shifted the focus from a problem paradigm to one of promise and potential.  Miller is a professor of neurology and psychiatry at UCSF and serves as the director of the Memory and Aging Center as well as the principal...

August 13, 2012

Father daughter team Charlie Ferrell and Katie Norris spend their free time making life better for people with Alzhimer’s and their caregivers.  At Westlake Village, a senior living community, Ferrell, a retired vascular surgeon and Norris, a minister, work with a group of adults with dementia using the TimeSlips program.  The program, developed by Dr. Anne Basting, focuses on forgetting memory, and instead encouraging participants to use their imaginations to develop stories.  “By getting...

August 10, 2012

 

Elizabeth Conover Fitzpatrick turned 100-years-old this month, in a town she has lived in her entire life.  Fitzpatrick, who was one of six children, lives in a house in Woodville, a traditionally black community where her family settled approximately 1788.  It’s believed that six generations have lived in the house since 1924, when her family bought the property.  “It’s a pleasure living with her; I love my grandmother,” said Lanette Fitzpatrick.  “She’s my inspiration and she...
July 30, 2012

The Nitro Senior Center in Charleston, West Virginia boasts a great art class which provides mastery, social engagement, and therapeutic aspects to its participants.  After Dorothy Mannon lost her husband and then her son, she turned to art.  It has given her the social component she missed, as she said, “We’re just like one big family.  Everybody cheers each other up…if you come in for any length of time, we treat you like anyone else.”  Gaylie Doughty says the painting helps her with her...

July 30, 2012

Graffiti , an explosive art form of the 1970s and 1980s, has diminished in popularity, but aging graffiti artists are still out there tagging trains, walls, and other city surfaces.  In its heyday, graffiti pitted artists against each other to see who could create the most visually edgy and elaborate murals in the most dangerous places.  Graffiti documentarian and photographer Henry Chalfant said, “The whole scene has evolved to something beyond just writing your name.  Artists are making...

July 30, 2012

Creative Aging Mid-South is one of 10 arts-based nonprofits being honored by The Huffington Post.  The organization, founded in 2003 by Meryl Klein, provides arts programming to 52 local nursing homes and assisted living facilities in creative writing, poetry, movement, weaving, ceramics and painting.  Creative Aging Mid-South values teaching artists as well, and has paid its local artists almost $500,000 since its beginning.   They also provide many social activities like allowing the...

July 25, 2012

As you’ve probably heard, baby boomers are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day.  Health and sports clubs are seeing more and more seniors joining in on classes and activities every day.  92-year-old Ralph Winn said, “I just think that there are three things in life that are important for anybody, not just me.  Staying physically healthy, proper diet and getting plenty of rest.  That’s what keeps me going.”  Many adults are also joining in on fitness classes where they find a much...

July 25, 2012

For the first 40 years of the Olympics, artists were able to submit pieces of work in painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and music with the goal of winning an Olympic medal.  Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee and the modern Olympic games, believed to be a true Olympian, one must be skilled in athletics and the arts.  For the first time at the 1912 Stockholm games, medals were awarded in each category and pieces submitted had to be inspired...

July 12, 2012

Laura Hahn, 29 and Arthur, 87 make an unlikely pair of friends.  The two met three years ago after Laura saw an online ad for an organization called DOROT encouraging people to visit homebound seniors.   Laura applied for the one-year commitment of visiting a senior once a week, and was matched up with Arthur, a retired English professor.  As an aspiring journalist, Laura and Arthur hit it off.  Laura said, “When I talk about my friendships with Arthur and my Pop Pop [Laura’s grandfather],...

July 9, 2012

Buranovo, Russia was a small dying village until a group of eight local older women known as the Buranovskiye Babushki (or Grandmothers of Buranovo), placed second at a music contest called Eurovision, a European talent contest.   The group dressed in traditional garb and sang rock’ n’ roll pieces, a spectacle that not only placed them second in the contest, but also attracted 100 million viewers.  The local government is showing their appreciation for the group of grannies by building a...

June 25, 2012

This fall Matthew Ross Smith, founder of The Spaces Between Your Fingers project will embark on a unique journey, the 10,000 Strangers Campaign.  The Smith will attempt to introduce himself to 10,000 strangers in parks, libraries, arts and senior centers all across America and will offer those he meet a self-addressed, pre-stamped postcard where they can share a memory or story that they do not want to be forgotten.  The postcards will be archived and searchable online.  Ross began the The...

June 20, 2012

In a study funded by the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Tampa Bay, FL, researchers found that after eight months, participants who practiced tai chi had brain growth and cognitive improvement.  Those in the study who were not instructed to participate in tai chi, were either told to engage in stimulating conversation, to walk, or to do nothing at all.  Surprisingly, those who participated in engaging in stimulating conversation did better than those who were just walking, perhaps pointing to...

June 17, 2012

Since Harrogate retirement community in Lakewood, NJ began arts classes last year, enrollment has more than quadrupled.  Teaching artist Rose Reilly Leonard provides classes to residents who are mostly between the ages of 70 and 90, some of which have Alzheimer’s or other cognitive disabilities.  Leonard stresses the importance of working to her student’s skill levels while also challenging them.  Florence Baston who is in her early 80s and has resided at Harrogate for 13 years said, “I had...

June 16, 2012

The annual 100@100 survey interviews 100 centenarians to learn how they have reached their centennial years.  This year, a group of 50-year-olds were also interviewed to provide insight into the future centennials and what their lives might look like.  Eighty percent of 100-year-olds surveyed say they eat balanced meals and a majority exercise every day.  Boomers and centenarians both describe social connection as integral to healthy aging, though only one centenarian in the group had ever...

June 12, 2012

Drs. Erol Can and Bingur Sonmezs are working together to practice Makam therapy, an ancient form of Turkish music therapy.  Specific music, or Makams, are played at specific times during the day for a specialized purpose.  Dr. Sonmez said, “There is a different makam for every illness, every health problem.  There are makamlar that agitate, and there are makamlar that relax.”  Both doctors do not believe this therapy takes the place of traditional medicine, but do see its benefits in...

June 11, 2012

Dr. Lisa Wong, a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Milton Pediatrics, talks about the connection between music and medicine.  From music helping her to become a better doctor to music’s ability to connect to patients young and old, Wong describes the powerful effect it has in her book, “Scales to Scalpels.”  When describing music’s importance with patients, she said, “Music has a way of reaching a deeper core in a person than sometimes can be touched in any other way, even...

June 8, 2012

Drumming can be a great way to bridge the gap between generations, as seen in Bowen Park in Waukegan, IL where instructor Nansady Keita teaches the Djembe drum.  Keita learned this dying art form in the West African nation, Guinea.  Jack Cunningham, 9, said “I really like to play music and I like to drum a lot.  It’s the vibration.  You can feel the beat and it goes up your body.”  Irene Voros, 75, who has taken many music classes and has visited Guinea for many years said, “I first did a...

June 5, 2012

The Long Beach Senior Arts Colony, to open in December, will feature an impressive array of opportunities for their residents, ages 55 and above and earning 30 to 60 percent of the area’s median income.  The colony will boast a fitness center, yoga center, spa, dog park, community gardens, and art studios.  A second building will eventually be built next door for residents of any age in an effort to provide more opportunities for the mixing of generations.  “The character of seniors has...

May 29, 2012

The Longevity Genes Project, launched by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City suggests a factor in living a long life may in fact be a positive disposition.  The study included participants 95 years or older of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, 2/3rds of which were women.  This allowed the team of researchers to study personality comparisons among a genetically similar group.  The study found that participants were for the most part relaxed, friendly and upbeat about life. ...

May 29, 2012

Scientists have learned that the preconceived belief that one’s brain is completely wired by adolescence, may be untrue.  Researchers from the Mac Planck Florida Institute (MPFI) and New York’s Columbia University studied the effect of sensory experiences on the brains of older rats, and found that when changing these experiences, the rat’s brains were able to rewire.  Though the study has only been used with rats, researchers believe it does have implications for humans as well.  Marcel...

May 28, 2012

As the population continues to age, there are more and more stories of adults doing amazing things.  Japanese mountaineer Tamae Watanabe, 73, recently broke her own world record by becoming the oldest woman to scale Mount Everest, a record she originally set at the age of 62 and plans to break again at the age of 80.  In a culture that is increasingly becoming obese and sedentary, there is a subset of people doing extraordinary things, who can inspire all people to live a more active...

May 23, 2012

“Marigold Hotel,” a film which stars actors in their 70s and is marketed to people over 50-years-old has already brought in $100 million in ticket sales, a feat many thought unimaginable.  Hollywood has been slow to market to older demographics, but with the rise in baby boomers, studios like Fox Searchlight, the mini-studio behind “Marigold Hotel,” took a chance and are reaping the benefits.  “We felt that it was a great story, but we were also very conscious of the fact that there is a...

May 20, 2012

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA has grown exponentially since its beginning in 2001.  About 125 students registered in the OLLI program’s first semester. There are now 1,800 adults registered for classes including poetry, criminal justice and more.  OLLIs operate across the country, and have proven to be a drawing factor for retirees choosing where to retire.  “I’m not sure I would have moved here if they didn’t have an OLLI program...

May 17, 2012

A recent youtube video with close to 1 million hits has circulated the internet showing 94-year-old Henry, who has dementia, come alive after hearing some of his favorite music on an IPod.  This clip is from a one-hour film, “Alive Inside,” by Michael Rossato-Bennett and Dan Cohen who began the film to showcase his mission of bringing music to all nursing homes in the country.  Though it is noted that without concrete research on the benefits of music, doctors and medical professionals are...

May 9, 2012

Staying fit is key to aging healthily, and the Vitality 360 program run by Kendal at Hanover and Orchard Cover in Canton, Massachusetts is using a computerized approach to insuring their seniors remain active.  The program uses online assessment tools to track the health of their residents, which informs their individualized coaching, appropriate goal-setting and follow-up.  This information is then entered into a national database used to help all older adults set goals and measure their...

May 5, 2012

Ruth French, 71, recognized her husband Michael French was acting out, becoming more stubborn, and turning into a person she hardly recognized.  After considering a divorce, she found out that Mr. French, 71, wasn’t simply acting out, he had prontotemporal dementia, a brain disease often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s or a variety of other cognitive disabilities.  The disease, which eats away at personality and language, still has no treatment.  With more cases like these being diagnosed, it...

April 30, 2012

Tim Carpenter, Founder and Executive Director of EngAGE, has created an innovative housing development model bringing the arts to low and moderate income seniors.  The Burbank Senior Artists Colony in California boasts a theater group, an independent film company and a variety of courses in filmmaking, performance and writing.  “Whether it’s the art of learning or health or foodie stuff or spirituality – whatever it is that excites people and turns them on every day – that should be the...

April 24, 2012

San Francisco’s family tree history website Archives.com recently released the 1940 U.S. census data. They worked with the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration to build and host the data into the public cloud. Now, census data can be accessed on the web as digital images for the first time. The document images include the person’s name, age, gender, relationship to the head of household, birthplace and more. Tens of millions of people recorded in the census are still alive...

April 18, 2012

Emily Lu, 26, first saw the effects of art on those with Alzheimer’s as a student at Harvard. It inspired her to create the Harvard Alzheimer’s Buddies for the Arts Program. Now as a medical student at Emory University, she created the Museum Moments Program at the Michael C. Carlos Museum. This program was modeled after a program at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Meet me at MoMA, which connects people with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s to art. The Museum Moments Program is...

April 13, 2012

Living to 102 is a feat within itself. However, being 102 and still going to the gym for two hours a day is amazing. Frank Ventre is an inspiration and truly shows how exercise and good health can lead to a longer and healthier life. Everybody at the gym knows Ventre and he collected quite a fan base. Ventre likes to measure his time in money saying, “I feel like a million dollars.”
KSN.com 
...

April 9, 2012

Carol Hammal is the only licensed art psychotherapist in Egypt, where therapy is still taboo. With the revolution and ensuing political trauma over the past year, Egyptians experience a very personal and constant level of violence, grief, loss, chaos and pain. This stress can lead to high levels of anxiety, leading to a declined state of mental health. Hammal and others working for the art therapy cause hope to increase its’ prevalence in Egypt including studios, and a masters program. “Art...

April 8, 2012

Music therapy is a growing tool used for rehabilitation. Music links to the part of the brain that controls memory, emotions and movement. It is especially helpful for older adults because it helps them cope with the grief experienced from aging. People engage best with music that they enjoyed between the ages of 15 and 30 because this time period is associated with major life decisions such as marriage, graduation and more. “People associate music emotionally with different events in their...

April 5, 2012

Music therapy is now recognized around the world and can be used for a variety of results including speech disorders, palliative care and motor and emotional skills. Music therapy reaches back to before birth as fetuses listen to their mother’s heartbeat and her preferred music while in the womb. After birth, children prefer listening to music they heard as a fetus. While music therapy is flourishing in western countries such as the U.K and the U.S, it is just becoming recognized in other...

March 27, 2012

Music reduces anxiety and stress for patients awake under local anesthetic during surgery. The study conducted by John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford played music for half of the patients while the other half underwent surgery with normal hushed conditions. The study found that the group who listened to music were one third less anxious and their breathing patterns were more relaxed during the surgery. The music also helped to relieve stress that can negatively impact surgical outcomes. "...

March 22, 2012

Mary Lou Snitger was once was an accomplished photographer.  Her love of photography began in her father’s portrait studio which she eventually took over.  She finished her career as a staff photographer for Pennsylvania State University.  As dementia set in, her camera, which once was practically attached to her body, settled in the basement unused.  Olmsted 3 held an exhibit of Snitger’s photographs, which took her a while to recognize as her own.  Though her memory is declining, when a...

March 20, 2012

New York’s Pace University students teach senior citizens computer skills such as email, searching the web and more. Many of the seniors come back to the tutoring sessions multiple times before they remember how to use the skills. Most of the seniors want to use the computer to keep in touch with family and friends. The student teachers are advised to make the seniors do all of the things by themselves which will hopefully help them remember. One senior went as far as to say, “this gadget...

March 19, 2012

102 year old Saul Belson is living well with few health problems and is enjoying life as a centenarian. Belson not only keeps a positive attitude but became an artist, continues to dance and taught himself to play the violin. Ben is one of many centenarians hoping to be one of the 100 centenarians selected worldwide to contribute DNA to the Archon Genomics X Prize competition. The competition, presented by the healthcare and research company, Medco, asks genotyping companies to sequence the...

March 5, 2012

Don Jones, an art therapist, had a serious stroke which took his strength, hand-eye coordination and will to create. His wife Karen urged him to start painting, a job he has been practicing for years. Jones cofounded the American Art Therapy Association and Buckeye Art Therapy Association. Art therapy helps increase self-esteem and self-awareness and Jones is well versed in the techniques and benefits. “You can compensate in different areas and use it to improve your mood and feelings.”...

February 29, 2012

It is never too late to pick up an instrument. Use Cassandra Gordon as an example. She first picked up the cello at 62 and now, 11 years later, continues to play and has played in an orchestra. Ms. Gordon and other older amateur musicians defy the truism that ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ There are many benefits to picking up an instrument later in life including new social networks, a creative...

February 27, 2012

Music Therapy captured Americans’ attention because of its role in Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ recovery from brain injury. The field, which has been around for at least a century, allows the brain to respond by creating new pathways around the damaged areas. Music therapy is used to treat those with serious brain injury, stroke, muscle dystrophy and more. “Music is providing that pathway or almost like a cerebral bypass around the damaged areas, allowing someone to regain mobility or...

February 22, 2012

Laughter may be the medicine to keep dementia away for older adults. Humor Therapy can help manage the agitation experienced by those with dementia. It can improve communication and trigger memories. Humor Therapy has been taken up by the Redhead’s Whiddon Group who named their program Play Up. The group has been so successful that a documentary, the Smile Within, focuses on their efforts and successes.

Feb, 22, 2012, Newcastle.com.au

...

February 14, 2012

High caloric intake is linked with mild cognitive impairment for those over 70. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the stage between normal memory loss and early Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found that the odds of having MCI doubled for those who consumed the most calories. “Cutting calories and eating foods that make up a healthy diet may be a simpler way to prevent memory loss as we age” said Dr. Yonas Geda.

Feb. 14, 2012, NYDailyNews.com

...

February 13, 2012

Dana Jackson celebrated her one hundredth birthday this year by tying the knot. Jackson married 87-year-old Bill Stauss in Bowling Green, KY last week. While both had been married before, this wedding was made special by the unexpected love they found later in life. It was Jackson’s fourth wedding but the first with a wedding dress and an engagement ring. “I never thought I’d get married again,” said Stauss...

February 11, 2012

Amy Henderson noted two varieties of retired life, one that consisted of uneventful days inside an unstimulating environment and the other where life was booming. Those living in the latter enjoyed learning new creative expressions, surrounded by art and like-minded souls. This type of retired life inspired Henderson to create the Geezer Gallery, a nonprofit which establishes art programs in senior communities. Henderson wants the gallery and its name to promote conversation to make people...

February 9, 2012

Tai Chi can benefit people with chronic health problems including Parkinson’s, depression, and reduces pain for those with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Tai chi is an ancient martial art that uses slow, flowing movement and meditation. A recent study found that tai chi can help improve balance and movement control for Parkinson’s patients who are characterized by tremors, balance problems, stiff facial...

February 8, 2012

Long term exercise and mental activity may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, shows two studies.  One study illustrated how exercise causes the brain to break down amyloid proteins that are linked to Alzheimer’s.  The second study shows that people with lifelong mental activity demonstrated lower levels of the same amyloid protein.  However, while it is easy to prescribe an exercise regime, it is still...

February 7, 2012

The music therapy program at Brooking Parks engages seniors with classic songs and enhances health outcomes of residents. Brooking Park residents in Chesterfield, Missouri, enjoy benefits of music therapy such as enhancing quality of life, maintaining key functioning skills and stimulating the mind. “Music therapy is so crucial to our activity program,” said Donna Mattingly, Director of Activities at...

February 6, 2012

Brian Parker took his past experiences with his grandpa’s Alzheimer’s to bring music therapy to those currently dealing with the disease. Parker and his brother, Mark, use their business, Senior Rhythms, to break through dementia. They visit long-term care centers such as Chehalem Health and Rehabilitation Center and help reinforce research indicating that patients exposed to music illustrate reduced...

February 2, 2012

100-year-old Kathleen “Kit” Connell is an enthusiastic and avid spokesperson for Nintendo. Connell claims that her Nintendo DS keeps her mind sharp by playing different games on her handheld device throughout the day such as “Brian Trainer.” Connell is not the only one who has found that video games kept her young. In 2009, the National Science Foundation granted North Carolina State University $1.2 million...

February 1, 2012

Four activities can effectively reach Alzheimer’s patients at any stage: visits by a child, visits from a pet, listening to or playing music and observing or creating artwork. Children can reach and interact with patients at a deep emotional level. Like children, pets can have a similar effect because of their unconditional love. “One of the joys of persons with dementia that seems to remain intact,...

January 31, 2012

Artist William Utermohlen painted through his decline into Alzheimer’s giving a fascinating insight into the mind of an Alzheimer’s patient. Utermohlen persevered through his lack of motor control switching from oils to watercolors and pencils until he was no longer able to draw. Utermohlen’s work became more and more focused on self-portraiture as time went by. Utermohlen’s work, ...

January 21, 2012

Living to 100 is a major feat, a feat that has doubled in frequency in the United States in the past 20 years. There is no single magic ingredient, says Dr. Richard Boyd, intern at Yakima Herald-Republic. Instead, he credits luck, genetics and three common traits observed in his healthier older patients: optimism, passion and interaction. As America’s population is aging, society needs to age with it. These centenarians benefited from developments such as indoor plumbing and modern medicine...

January 19, 2012

Education is a key ingredient to keeping the brain fit as it ages and a college degree can slow the brain’s aging process by up to a decade. “Education seems to be an elixir that can bring us a healthy body and mind throughout adulthood and even a longer life” says Margie E. Lachman, a psychologist at Brandeis University who specializes in aging.  Dr. Lachman is one of the principle investigators in the study Midlife in the United States (Midus) which examines Americans’ physical and...

January 19, 2012

A new home and an expanded focus for a pioneering organization that has explored the work and life issues of professional artists

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC), which provides data and information in service of artists and the arts, has become part of the National Center for Creative Aging in Washington, D.C. RCAC Director Joan Jeffri ...

January 18, 2012

Daily exercise may alter the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or change the course of the disease once it begins according to a study from The Archives of Neurology. The research looked at 201 adults between the ages of 45 and 88, differentiating between those with the APOE gene variant e4, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s, and those without the gene. Brain scans monitored levels of amyloid plaque, a sign of Alzheimer’s, as people with more plaque tend to have more memory loss. Research...

January 17, 2012

Bill Finch turned 100 last week, but he still runs a mile twice a week and plays badminton. Finch does not have a secret for his longevity, but has been active his whole life. When he worked, he ran at least one mile a day before breakfast and has continued to pursue an active lifestyle. He set the national record for the 1500 at the age of 96 and plans on running in the National Senior Games in Cleveland by which time he will be 101. “I hope I keep living as long as I’m in good health”...

January 17, 2012

Ruth’s Table, a creative special events meeting space for art, music, film, poetry and lectures spanning politics and culture, provides art to residents and neighbors of the Bethany Center Senior Housing in San Francisco. Ruth’s Table’s art program is in line with the research that keeping the mind actively engaged benefits people with Alzheimer's. “Art is chocolate for the brain,” says Lola Fraknoi, program director for Ruth’s Table, quoting Gene D. Cohen. “Art,” says Fraknoi, “wakes up...

January 17, 2012

Living to 100 is a major feat, a feat that has doubled in frequency in the United States in the past 20 years. There is no single magic ingredient, says Dr. Richard Boyd, intern at Yakima Herald-Republic. Instead, he credits luck, genetics and three common traits observed in his healthier older patients: optimism, passion and interaction.
January 21, 2012, Yakima Herald-Republic, by Ross Courtney

...

January 13, 2012

The Mesa Arts Center initiated a pilot program to reach the growing population of people over the age of 65. The Creative Aging Program’s goal is to encourage creative expression through movement, story, dance and engagement. The program was created to respond to the shift in population demographics and reach the underserved senior population. The Creative Aging Program had a very powerful, personal and poignant impact on the community. “These folks perked up and became much more aware of...

January 9, 2012

Research shows that older adults are happier because they focus and remember positive events and leave behind negative ones. This process helps them control their emotions and see life in a more positive light. Researchers have found that as people age, they are more likely to seek out situations that will lift their moods and are more willing to let go of loss and disappointment. However, there needs to be more research on this topic. “It won’t be easy to say old people are happier,” says...

January 9, 2012

Karma Kitaj discovered her creative nature after taking up artist and creativity coach Sandra Shurman’s offer to play in her art studio. Since then, Kitaj has continued making art, held an art show and even sold paintings. Kitaj uses her own experiences to reaffirm research done by Dr. Gene D. Cohen, author of The Creative Age, and other, which demonstrates that actively engaging in creative activities stimulates a number of positive responses in our bodies and minds. Kitaj recommends...

January 5, 2012

Scientists have determined three skills that play a significant role in a long, happy life: resilience, belonging and interdependence. Resilience allows people to handle stress well and turn their misfortune into optimism and energy. Such people are happier and have more positive energy than others. Belong gives one a sense of purpose. “Living on purpose fills us with passion, drive and direction,” says executive coach and author Richard Leider. The third skill, interdependence, may be a...

January 4, 2012

Two super centenarians, living past the age of 110, are teaching scientists that living a long life is not just about good genes. The male and female subjects had many bad genes, or variants, that should have destroyed their health or killed them long before their death. The New England Centenarian Study at Boston University found that these two participants had gene variants that predisposed them to deadly diseases that were fought off by good genes. The woman carried mutations linked to...

December 13, 2011

Maliya Suo is the last keeper of the Ewenki culture. Ever since the Chinese government has forcibly relocated the rest of the Ewenki’s to a modern city, the customs of the group are only preserved through Suo, 92, and four members of the tribe who followed to support her.  The life isn’t easy for the reindeer herders, most of their time is spent chopping wood in preparation for the harsh winter, hunting game to subsist off of or milking reindeer.  "What upsets me is that, in the future, who...

December 9, 2011

Sometimes it takes a while for talented musicians to get their big break, and then sometimes it takes 85 years. Pianist Boyd Dunlop was an underground jazz legend in 1950s Buffalo, working in the steelyards by day and playing the clubs by night. A chance encounter with a photographer who knew a producer led to a record being made, decades after Dunlop’s last appearance on a record. Now, he performs as part of a jazz trio in the city he never forsook for bigger spotlights.
December 9,...

December 9, 2011

Slidell Adult Day Care has been utilizing creative programs for the past two years and loving the results. The older adults are happier, more social and more interested. Dwight Denham, administrator for Slidell Adult Day Care at 3401 Pontchartrain, said, “The intent of adult day health care is two-fold. It keeps people active and teaches them skills to help them stay out of institutions as well as helps provide caregivers rest by providing services outside the home.” The arts program has...

December 4, 2011

Mattias Hollwich is a community designer who has taken a keen interest in building communities for aging adults. Hollwich explains, “It is about a place where living comes first and [being able] to do so at a later age needs to be supported by starting it early.” Hollwich emphasizes the need for both designers and older adults to plan realistically to provide the best living environment for later on in life. One of the biggest challenges was getting people to identify as aging. He reasons...

December 1, 2011

Writer and cultural anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson has received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Social Change and Positive Aging from Fielding Graduate University. An expert on community dialogue and intergenerational communication, she has offered unique insight into positive aging in her books Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom and With a Daughter’s Eye. She received the award at the Fifth Annual International Conference on Positive Aging, where she also presented...

November 30, 2011

The Poetics of Aging Conference occurred in San Francisco from November 16 through November 19 and was by this account a resounding success. The conference had a stated mission of “countering the mainstream understanding of aging as decline and/or disease with a more expansive, humanistic, and creative — that is poetic — vision and approach.” Poets, artists, psychologists and many more presented on the benefits of creative aging and encore careers. Live performances were aplenty and the...

November 30, 2011

An experiment in Ireland found that young men who bicycled for half an hour improved their ability to recall names and faces. Scientists are attributing this to the increased amount of the protein BDNF found in the blood of those who had exercised. This protein promotes the health of nerve cells and could be the reason why exercise benefits the brain’s ability to remember and recall. Similar conclusions have been drawn from studies on the memory of rodents after exercise and then one which...

November 27, 2011

The University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has launched the “Memory Café” a new concept for memory care support in Lexington. The café is purposed to help people living with memory disorders socialize and provide a creative outlet for those with Alzheimer’s disease who may find it difficult to interact in other circumstances. The patrons are presented pictures to look at and talk about, prompts to remember memories long forgotten and respect, something that people with memory...

November 10, 2011

The University of Regina’s art gallery, in Canada, now hosts an installation created by veterans of World War II.  The display shows the room of an aging veteran, complete with an empty wheel chair and pieces of advice hanging from the ceiling.  The exhibition is a way for veterans to share their experiences and their lives now, and it appears to be an effective medium.  “As an artist, it’s interesting to see some of the issues that veterans are dealing with being solved through artistic...

November 7, 2011

America’s Brain Health Index, a study on how the people of each state incorporate the four dimensions of brain health, was recently released. No matter how your state ranked on the list, you can always do more to stay healthier.  This article lists four main steps: get moving, nourish your body and your mind, embrace new activities and expand your social network. "Whether we live in the top-ranked states or in the areas that are below average, there are several ways to nurture and engage...

November 2, 2011

Ed Cook had a successful corporate career and now at the age of 79 he reaffirms his success in his second career, miniature painting. Cook has been inducted into the Illinois Senior Hall of Fame for the Arts for his work using 2 3/4 by 4 1/8 inch canvasses.  When he’s not painting he is teaching the art of miniature painting, and when he is not teaching he is studying for a certificate in botanical art. Most recently he has begun teaching classes on World War I. “I tell people I am starting...

November 1, 2011

ArtAge publications has recently concluded their survey of 142 Senior Theatre companies and have found some interesting statistics. For instance, almost 75% of theatres have been in existence for 1-12 years, reinforcing the belief that they come and go frequently. Also, with the grant writing atmosphere so competitive, many theatres are now for-profit. Still, 43% of Senior Theatres do not charge for their shows.  Perhaps the most important finding was that most directors are creating “very...

October 31, 2011

This month’s far-reaching AARP Bulletin featured an article on creative aging, both where it is today and where it might go tomorrow. Highlighting examples like the Kairos Dance Theatre and the Stagebridge Senior Theatre, the article makes a compelling argument to bring arts programs to care facilities. As reporter Sally Abrams writes, “The programs are also relatively cheap to run, compared with paying for medicine or physical care — and can produce dramatic results.” The article reports...

October 31, 2011

The Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation in Detroit has developed programs like the Hannan Majestic Poets, the Detroit Writers Journal and oral history projects to engage the local older adults.  Citing the Dr. Gene Cohen study on creative aging, the foundation uses art classes and the like to engage the older adults and keep them healthier both physically and mentally.  According to Community Development Coordinator Rachel Jacobsen, the story telling programs are important “especially in a...

October 31, 2011

A new study finds that older adults who report feeling happy and content live longer than others.  While the study of 3,850 older adults did not prove a direct causal relationship, the findings found those older adults who had reported feeling happy were less likely to die over the next five years.  The research was aimed at figuring out if happiness warded of illness.  The study was run by the University College of London.
U.S. News and World Report, October 31, 2011

Written By...

October 29, 2011

The Institute of Aging  (IOA), in San Francisco, is presenting the collages, photo montages and other works of retired artist Medford Todd. However, to say he is retired is misleading as Todd continues to lead an art therapy group at the Irene Swindells Center for Adult Day Services, the same place that is exhibiting his work.  “In our more than 25 years of serving the Bay Area, IOA has developed and provided innovative programs in health, social service, creative arts, spiritual support,...

October 22, 2011

The Bell Telephone company had pledged $36,400 for a creative arts program aimed at helping older adults battle depression. As part of a $50 million corporate responsibility campaign, the Bell grant enables Faye Wilkinson to launch Visible Voices- Through the Looking Glass. The program includes activities like visual art, sculpture, storytelling and fiber art, all of which has been shown to provide participants significant improvements. "A lot of laughing happens, a lot of humor. It's about...

October 21, 2011

​This report highlights NCCA Board Member Anne Basting’s innovative program TimeSlips, which helps older adults with memory loss.  The program gives the older adults a prompt, like a picture, and asks the participants to create a story around it.  By taking the pressure off of memory and giving the participants the freedom of imagination, the program makes it easier for the older adults to communicate. This report uses the TimeSlips program at Iona Senior Services, administered by Liz...

October 20, 2011

Despite the often negative stereotypes surrounding aging, many organizations are willing to explore the benefits and opportunities that come with age.  The Poetics of Aging conference in San Francisco November 16-19 will feature a number of prominent leaders in the field participating in panel discussions, interactive workshops, roundtables and performances.  There will also be a strong creativity component with presentations from Stagebridge Senior Theater, Stanford Classic Theater, Anna...

October 17, 2011

The Medical Humanities Department of Sydney University and the Foundation for Art and Health held a symposium last week  in Australia to examine the value and areas of improvement for art therapy. It has become a truly global conversation, with Dr. Aw, a leading medical doctor in Toronto, saying "that a relationship exists between culture and good health." In the United Kingdom, a network has been set up to share best practices.  And in San Francisco, author Amy Gorman, recently wrote a...

October 17, 2011

Fauja Singh has officially become the oldest person ever to complete a marathon, and the first centenarian.  Nicknamed the Turbaned Tornado, this Indian-born Brit finished the Toronto waterfront marathon in eight hours and 11 minutes, beating his goal of finishing in less than 11 hours. Singh started running when he was 80, and continues to do so now to raise money for local charities, including a children’s foundation that provides basic needs.
NPR, October 17, 2011

Written By...

October 10, 2011

Human’s deep-rooted desire to create are can be seen in the prehistoric caves of France, and that impulse doesn’t fade with age. The article’s author, Rhoda Curtis, argues that the creative process of exploring, testing and evaluating works in older adults’ favor.  She encourages older adults to try their hand at creativity, as there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. No longer should older adults be constrained by the self-doubts they carried their whole lives; this is the time to...

October 1, 2011

In a lecture at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the Reverend James Ellor of Baylor University presented his beliefs that story-telling is instrumental in aging.  Ellor finds that older adults who are proud of their past but content with their future are the happiest people, and that finding that contentment with the future lies in attaching meaning to one’s past.  By writing or telling their life story, older adults can see all that they encompass, that they are the sum total of a...

October 1, 2011

Laurie Lunsford has personally experienced the power of arts in aging facilities, and has the stories to prove it.  For the last two years she has gone to four Alzheimer’s units, bringing with her easels, water paints and brushes. The response has been overwhelming; patients applaud her entrance and individuals who could not concentrate are now painting for 45 minutes.  She has several more anecdotes, but maybe none more convincing then the administrator who pulled her aside to tell her...

September 26, 2011

According to the 2011 America’s Brain Health Index, a collaboration of the National Center for Creative Aging and life’sDHA, Maryland and DC have the healthiest brains in the country.  The geographic areas were ranked on 21 factors including: diet, mental health, physical health and social well-being.  The researchers attribute Maryland’s top ranking to their high score in the diet categorically, which awards high points for the consumption of the omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish...

September 25, 2011

Hanns Pieper, professor of gerontology at the University of Evansville, contends the factors that contribute to aging well are enough money, good health and acceptance.  While having enough money and health to live comfortably speak for themselves, he says that learning to embrace the things aging allows us to do will help older adults find happiness in their later years.  Struggling against the aging process, lamenting what is lost, is counter-productive.  “Mostly [anxiety] just uses up...

September 22, 2011

The Examiner reports that the Beautiful Minds contest, which features older adults doing wonderful things, has highlighted several baby boomers.  From the adventurer/author John Guider, 62, to the non-profit executive Melody McDuffee, the campaign offers inspiration for the wave of Americans who will soon be concerned with positive aging. “The largest aging population in history will experience the most longevity of any generation, which means taking action to improve our brain health...

September 19, 2011

When professional artist Lonnie Sue Johnson was stricken with viral encephalitis, a disease that severely impacted her memory and halted her career in its tracks.  However, she recovered physically and then surprised experts by drawing pictures, while lacking a memory to draw from.  Her mother and professional artist Margaret Kennard Johnson slowly taught her the joy of creating art for a second time.  Said Lonnie Sue, “Your memories come back, and you get more ideas. It’s a lovely way to...

September 19, 2011

Japan celebrated the 45th Respect for the Aged Day, and there have never been more aged to respect.  The number of Japanese citizens older than 65 doubled between 1970 and 1994, and the trend has only increased.  The article reports Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says he wants to “form a society where everyone will be part of the workforce that includes the elderly people.”  With an aging society such as Japan’s, older adults’ involvement in the workforce is seen as crucial to the...

September 17, 2011

Dr. Gene Cohen said, "Autobiography for older adults is like chocolate for the brain."  What he meant was reviewing one’s own life can stimulate brain cells in the hippocampus with critical brain activity.  Dr. Richard Butler noted that life review is an important developmental task and a unique chance that only comes about later in life.  This op-ed’s author, Gaea Yudron, is taking these Gerontological giants’ word and has begun reviewing her life, and has found deeper meaning,...

September 17, 2011

It is widely reported the number of retirees will balloon in the next few years, and the implications are staggering.  Already some attribute Greece’s financial meltdown to gratuitous retirement benefits that dragged the nation under.  There is hope yet, however, as half of American retirees expect to work part-time after retirement.  Additionally, this generation of retirees will likely remain healthier, as they exercise twice as much as previous generations have.  One unusual tip this...

September 15, 2011

When Kenya offered free primary school education, alongside the country’s children enrolled an 84-year-old veteran of the liberation struggle.  Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge realized the dream of a formal education with the help of a supportive teacher, and not surprisingly a movie, “The First Grader,” has now been made from the story.  The movie has done exceedingly well in African and at various film festivals, making Maruge’s motivation an inspiration to many.     
The Royal Gazette,...

September 4, 2011

Fauja Singh has run seven marathons in his life, and all of them past the age of 89.  Now at 100-years-old, he has plans to run his eighth next year at the 2012 Edinburgh race.  A world-record holder in the over-90 category, Singh attributes his success to ginger curry and many cups of tea.  However he also said, “The secret is being happy, doing charity work, staying healthy and being positive.”
Emirates 24/7, September 4, 2011

...

August 23, 2011

Dr. James Aw shares his findings in this inquest into the relationship between culture and healthy aging.  Noticing that his healthiest octogenarian patients are the ones most engaged in the arts, he looked at a few different studies that he thought might prove a causal relationship.  While he admits that the science isn’t ironclad, he looks at one Swedish study that found people who attend cultural events like the cinema experience an increase in longevity.  He next looked next door at a...

August 16, 2011

The Korean population is aging in large part because people are living much longer, news that is getting mixed reviews from said population.  According to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Issues, less than one third of Koreans would like to live past 90, and 43 percent feel longevity isn’t always a good thing.  This could be the result of the poor conditions senior Koreans are facing today, due to the lack of preparation for retirement by both the individual and the government. ...

August 16, 2011

Diana Nyad, 61, captured the headlines this summer with her enthralling attempt to swim from Havana to the Key West.  This article highlights four additional older athletes, including Sensei Keiko Fukuda whom recently received a 10th degree black belt, making her one of only four other judo athletes in the world to receive that recognition.  Also mentioned is sprint triathlon competitor Charlie Futrell, 90, fencing instructor Bruce Milligan, 60, and Roy Lewis, 68, a track and field athlete...

August 15, 2011

Don’t be frightened by what you see on the stock market, says an investor who has seen it all in his 82 years of banking.  Irving Kahn was a stock analyst during the Great Depression, during which he learned a few lessons about investing the hard way.  But learn he did and the lessons resulted in a successful investing firm, which he is still the chairman of.  Now, with the many stock analysts predicting the worst for the national economy, Kahn remains unfazed. “I stopped wasting time on...

August 14, 2011

As India celebrated its 64th anniversary of the day it gained independence, nonagenarian, social activist and practicing lawyer Ram Balak Mishra remembered the dream of India’s original freedom fighters.  They fought for an India, free from British rule, which would grow with the world while retaining its cultural identity.  Instead, as he says, “Today's youth feel bad in communicating in Hindi.”  He sees the lack of respect for culture as being the reason corruption is allowed to run...

August 12, 2011

Director Kaneto Shindo used all 99 years of his experience to make the award-winning film “Post Card,” a film about the cost of war for both the fallen soldiers and the survivors.  He started directing in 1951 and as a veteran of World War II has often focused on the horrors he experienced and continues to deal with as one of the six survivors of a company of 100 men.  Shindo is keen on passing on his experiences through his work, and as film critic Mark Shilling wrote, the film is “for the...

August 11, 2011

At 96-yeards-old a former sheepherder, policeman and shearer finally found the time to sit down and paint, and ended up the winner of the 28th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Award (NATSIAA), one of the most prestigious art awards in Australia. Artist Dickie Minyintiri painted different animals gathering at a watering hole, representing the indigenous man’s relationship to his country.  "He has been a very busy man and has worked his whole life," Julian Green, a worker with...

July 28, 2011

Chao Mu-ho is truly a keeper of culture, being the only living artist in the Chinese-speaking world versed in the antique bird-worm style of calligraphy.  With the intent of preserving the unique Chinese writing form, Chao has donated a written verse from a centuries-old Chinese historical novel.  Chao has no desire to be the last calligrapher of his kind though, and is teaching younger artists the technique.  “I teach them for free. All of my students will have to practice for at least 10...

July 28, 2011

Yale researchers have released a study that has explained how memory works at a cell level.  What it comes down to, in its simplest terms, is how quickly neurons in the brain respond.  While the researchers found that the older animals they were testing had slower neuron responses, they also found that they could rebalance the chemicals in the brain to speed up the neurons, restoring cognitive ability.  This research has great importance to the aging population.  "Age-related cognitive...

July 27, 2011

Over 4,000 low- to moderate-income Los Angeles seniors are now benefiting from creative aging activities, thanks to NCCA board member Tim Carpenter’s organization EngAGE.  EngAGE has contracted with 20 affordable housing developments around LA to offer fitness, art and performance classes.  Carpenter was galvanized to action by the thought of the “never-ending boredom” that residents of healthcare facilities sometimes face.  “I felt a sense of responsibility to do something to make life a...

July 25, 2011

Carolyn Rosenblatt, a mediator for aging related conflicts, knows that dealing with uncooperative parents can be challenging.  Parents may not want to ask for help or divulge their financial situation for fear of troubling their children, but in reality this makes it harder for the children to help.  Rosenblatt recommends making an appointment with your parent to sit down and discuss the options.    She also recommends children stress to their parents the importance of knowing their bank...

July 18, 2011

Sandra Place, administrator of the Jackson County Medical Care Facility, recently answered some questions about memory loss.  In response to a question about how to smoothly interact with someone with memory loss, Place recommended always using proper nouns in the place of pronouns, focus on body language like maintaining eye contact, keep the conversations concrete and treat the person with respect.  To avoid memory loss, Place says research suggests “a healthy diet, physical activity, an...

July 18, 2011

Diane Nyad, 61, will be swimming the same trip that she failed to do when she was 28, and she’s never been more confident. “Physically, I am much stronger than I was before, although I was faster in my 20s.  I feel strong, powerful, and endurance-wise, I’m fit,” said Nyad.  The 103-mile trip is expected to take Nyad 60 hours, made more difficult by jelly-fish stings, saltwater swelling of the tongue and the chance of shark attacks.  Dr. Michael J. Joyner, a professor of anesthesiology and...

July 13, 2011

The Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Network (MnCAAN) has caught the eye of the Minnesota Sun for its extraordinary activeness.  The organization had an exhibition on July 26-27 and will have another one August 5, which will feature interactive art activities, artist demonstrations and information for older adults about getting involved in the arts.  Additionally, in the last 18 months MnCAAN has hosted 25 “art residencies,” which bring professional artists into senior living facilities...

July 9, 2011

Family reunions are good for you, perhaps barring the potato salad.  Linda Shrager, an online health columnist, draws from Dr. Gene Cohen’s statement that "in the second half of our life we are driven to sum up our lives and share our wisdom."  Family reunions are perfect for that.  She notes the personal growth that can come out of meeting the extended family, the medical knowledge that can be accumulated and the way reunions keep family histories alive.  While she concedes the stress...

July 8, 2011

Ethel Marks, 84, will be making her fourth bicycle tour through Europe, this time on a tandem bicycle with son Steve.  They began the tradition with a ride through southern Europe on separate bikes. However, after Ethel Mark’s bout with shingles (a disease she emphatically encourages all older adults to get vaccinated for), the Marks decided four legs are better than two for this jaunt from Estonia to Lithuania.   While she still carries some pain in her arm from the shingles, she’s not...

July 6, 2011

A new program in Dundalk, Ireland has older adults teaching the community the art of knitting.  The “Knit in-Sit” program pairs experienced knitters with small groups in the community, allowing the older adults to mskr sure these keepers of culture continue to pass along their knowledge.  The program will be well-photographed and the resulting pictures will be used to promote Positive Aging Week in late September.
The Argus, July 6, 2011

Written By: Olivia Ryan

...

July 4, 2011

Ted Lewis knows the conventional wisdom that exercise leads to better physical health, but he chose an unconventional form at an unconventional age: he took up roller-skating at the age of 68, and recently skated to his 90th birthday party.  This World War II veteran skates well; he recently qualified for the national competition of United States of America Roller Sports. He is also a model plane enthusiast, continuing his interest in mechanics he carries from a career at Western Electric...

June 20, 2011

Jack "The Godfather of Fitness" LaLanne's beliefs on the factors of longevity were backed up by the New England Centenary Study in 2009, but he earned his nickname many years earlier.  Besides the vigorous exercise routines that this former Strength and Fitness cover boy recommended, he also emphasized that it’s never too late to change your life and you have to work at living.  He also predicted, "Age isn't the killer. Inactivity is the killer."  This belief system led to a long life that...

June 16, 2011

In New York City last week the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) revealed its newest study, "Still Kicking: Aging Performing Artists in the NYC and LA Metro Areas."  Based on interviews with actors, dancers, choreographers, musicians, and singers 65 and older, the study found that performing artists are leading the way on the trend of starting second careers.  The study, led by RCAC Director Joan Jeffri and UCLA Professor Martin Iguchi, also found that the aging performers are...

June 8, 2011

A new study by investigators at USC's Occupational Therapy department has found that preventive measure can be taken to lessen ill-health and depression in older adults.  "What is critical is that, as we age, we continue to be engaged in life through a sustainable mix of productive, social, physical and spiritual activities," says Professor Florence Clark.  By staying engaged in these areas, the investigators believe older adults are saving both themselves and society higher costs.  The...

June 7, 2011

Having been denied a chance to join a premier dance company by the forces of segregation during the first half of her life, Therrell Camille Smith has made up time by becoming a premier dance teacher in her second half of life.  She has enjoyed sharing dancing with thousands of students, and says of the arts' importance to children, "It creates and stimulates your imagination, and you just have greater dreams, I think."  While she may not have ever imagined she would be still teaching...

June 1, 2011

Listening to music releases the chemicals dopamine and oxytocin in the brain, which makes people happier and has been shown to reduce pain by 21 percent and depression by 25 percent.  Also, it can help people to problem solve more creatively.  So how to harness this brain booster? If you’re an adult, you crave unpredictability in your music.  Joshua Berrett, Ph.D., a professor of music history at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and co-creator of...

May 31, 2011

Volunteerism has been recommended as a great way for older adults to stay engaged.  Betty Groves says that "volunteering is the rent we pay" for a long life.   If that is true, you would be correct in assuming this 97-year-old does a lot of volunteering: every Saturday afternoon she can be found volunteering at the public library, and she also tutors three times a week.  This engagement might be what keeps her sharp; she still drives, does her own housework, cooks and bakes.  After a long...

May 30, 2011

Cognitive neuroscientist Ellen Bialystok has uncovered that speaking two or more languages increases aging adults' cognitive function and helps people with Alzheimer's disease deal with the symptoms better.  Explaining the science behind it, Bialystok described how bilinguals' brains constantly have to ignore one language or the other, training the brain to concentrate only on relevant information.  Bialystok emphases bilingualism doesn't prevent Alzheimer's disease, but her findings "meant...

May 26, 2011

When Anne Forster broke her pelvis at age 90, she has no idea it would lead to her personal Renaissance.  Moving into the Miami Jewish Health Services home after her surgery, Forster began to take art classes and was soon awing her children with her water-color masterpieces.  "To me, it's so gratifying, I love it," said Forster. "It's a piece of me...so people will remember it always."  Forster also has begun weaving, ceramics, knitting, painting and jewelry, and finds herself lamenting the...

May 22, 2011

Dr. Gail Russell, director of the Gerontology Center at UMass Dartmouth, says of 111-year-old Milly England, "She is testimony to the social and technological trends that have merged with her personality and genetic makeup to allow her, and others like her, to live a long and fruitful life." England is marked by her ability to see the funny side in things that may not appear funny to others, which is in keeping with the New England Centenarian Study’s finding that the ability to cope with...

May 20, 2011

Ida Stonda Brunatti has been alive 100 years, not that she has had time to keep track of the passage of time between being a professional accordion player, a scout leader, a blue-ribbon gardener, an oil painter, a charter member of the Italian-American Civic League, a member in the St. Ann Women's Guild, the Salt Lake Council of Women and the Catholic Women's League, while at the same time traveling the world, spending time with her family, and volunteering at the 2002 Olympics. If that...

May 16, 2011

NPR remembers cellist Bernard Greenhouse, founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, who recently passed away. Greenhouse had been devoted to the cello for nine decades, many of which he spent imparting his considerable knowledge to fellow aspiring cellists. His love of music sustained him until the age of 95, when only a few weeks before his passing he was still making music on his 300-year-old cello. Greenhouse took pride in playing as well in his later years as he did in his earlier years,...

May 16, 2011

Chao Mu-ho embodies lifelong learning. Born in China, he attained his first degree during the Chinese Civil War, attained his next one decades later at the age of 91 and then got his masters at the age of 98. Now 100, Chao isn’t done yet. He spends his days learning English and how to use the computer, while maintaining and developing his calligraphy talent. Chao, who is guided by his motto "Opening eyes greet the morning and another day of work," hopes that his example will be followed by...

May 15, 2011

In Steve Nelson's impassioned plea for school standard sanity, he cites a recent intergenerational theatre program as an example of a great learning experience that isn’t used enough.  He refers to his Calhoun School’s work with a senior center down the street, in which fourth graders took older adults' stories and acted them out on stage.  He notes what value the process has for teaching students about history and empathy, and the joy and excitement it brought to the seniors. Nelson says...

May 15, 2011

He plays the clarinet, the guitar and the saxophone, and now at 100-years-old, Frank Proctor is picking up the piano as well. Proctor, who is in good health and great spirits, says, "My recipe is made by healthy habits, affectionate relatives and a great passion for jazz music." He encourages others to set goals and not to be deterred by setbacks; a set rhythm is nice but certainly not necessary to make a good tune, and sometimes you just have to improvise.
Voice-Online, May 15, 2011...

May 13, 2011

Even as nonagenarian novelists become less rare, they certainly are not less noteworthy for the vividness, vivaciousness and wealth of experiences they often contain. Irene Martyn is the latest author in her nineties to publish a novel--her third--and she has a fourth in the works. Martyn is somewhat of an authority on romance, having had two silver anniversaries with "two wonderful men." When asked the secret to her longevity, she replied, "You're only as old as you feel, and I don’t feel...

May 11, 2011

Sholem Aleichem was a successful storyteller and instrumental to the storyline of Fiddler on the Roof, but perhaps his biggest success was instilling an enduring sense of humor in his granddaughter Bel Kaufman. Ms. Kaufman's humor has sustained her through 100 years, the first 12 of which were spent in revolution-torn Russia. A graduate of Hunter College and Columbia University, she honored her grandfather's humor with the best-selling novel Up the Down Staircase. Now happily married to a...

May 11, 2011

Frank Fein, director of senior adult ministries and educational services at The Baptist Home, laments the negative connotation old age has developed in society despite signs to the contrary being abundant. He encourages his readers to note that many studies have found a correlation between people's attitudes towards aging and their health while aging. And, he argues, if the studies are not proof enough, there is always the Bible. For example, in Romans 12:2, Paul says not to be "conformed...

May 11, 2011

As part of its campaign to encourage older adults to use the internet, the BBC featured one of the web's oldest advocates, 104-year-old George Higgs. When his son moved to America, Higgs joined the 45% of adults older than 55 in his native East Midlands who use the internet. Higgs recommends the internet to his generation, describing it as a "very valuable asset." He does warn, however, that the internet can be as much of a time waster as it can be a time saver. "I don’t twitter, I'd sooner...

May 1, 2011

At the George Derby Centre, which has served Canada’s veterans for decades, new programs are being introduced to provide a higher-level of care. From the use of the ancient Chinese Tai Chi to improve relaxation to the drum circles to the nature observation sessions, the George Derby Centre is promoting new learning, reconnection and engagement. Janice Mitchell, George Derby’s executive director, said, “In addition to implementing new ideas based on best practice research, we are promoting...

May 1, 2011

With age comes wisdom, in addition to nine other naturally occurring improvements to cognition including becoming a better problem solver, being able to see the whole picture, and having an ever-expanding knowledge base. Dr. Margaret Gatz, professor of gerontology at University of Southern California, says, "We are identifying ways in which older minds hold their own against younger ones and even surpass them." Each improvement has been proved by studies documenting the effects of natural...

April 28, 2011

Since founding the Centenarian Awareness Project in 1989, Lynn Peters Adler has met enough of the 72,000 American centenarians to form a decent sample pool, and she has formed some opinions on what leads to longevity. Now that modern medicine has allowed people to maintain their physical health, Adler has observed certain characteristics amongst the centenarian clubs. These attributes include a "positive but realistic attitude, a love of life, a sense of humor, spirituality, courage, and an...

April 26, 2011

Roy Rowan, 91, feels retirement should be just as busy as one's working life. And when you consider he spent his career covering the Chinese Civil War, chronicling the inside stories of stock manipulation and catching the last helicopter off the Saigon rooftops, that's a pretty big statement. But in his new book, It's Never Too Late, Rowan details the ways to stay active, like pursuing your passions and setting goals to accomplish. "Learn to play a musical instrument, master a foreign...

April 25, 2011

The ancient myth of Penelope comes to life in a fresh light with assistance from residents of the senior living campus Luther Manor. Anne Basting of the Center on Aging & Community at the University of Wisconsin implemented the Penelope Project, which encouraged the residents to discuss and participate in the creation of a new play, Finding Penelope. The residents, who had no plans to take up acting when they moved to the Manor, have nevertheless become deeply involved in the...

April 18, 2011

Dr. Howard S. Friedman and Dr. Leslie Martin have recently published their aptly named book, Longevity Project, perhaps named both for its subject matter (identifying traits that lead to longer lives) and the length of the study (over 80 years). By using data from 1921--taken at the time to study predictors of intellectual leadership--and putting them alongside the death certificates and interviews of the original test subjects, Friedman and Martin determined the strongest...

April 15, 2011

Oprah knows enough about the entertainment business to know that the advertising system is designed around the 18- to 54-year-old market. But she also knows enough that she doesn't have to fade from the scene just because she has aged out of this demographic. Instead she writes about accepting who she is, seeing the "wisdom to be gained from people who are celebrating the process with vibrancy and vigor and grace," and being grateful for reaching the wonderful age that she is.
O,...

April 14, 2011

Tina Appleton Bishop, calls herself a "late bloomer" because she received her GED at the age of 77 and published her first novel at 90. But it seems like she is blooming at just the right time, as she has published a novel every year after that and is currently working on her fourth. Speaking to her local AARP chapter this month, Bishop surely has lessons to share about engaging in the creative arts later in life.
Westport News, April 14, 2011

...

April 13, 2011

Work, which so many people believe will be the death of them, may actually sustain us late into life. Dr. Thomas Perls of Boston University believes everyone has the potential to live to 90; it is just a matter of maintaining our cognitive function. "It is vital to have a cause to wake up to every morning," said Perls. "There has to be something to get you up and keep you engaged." The article cites as evidence for Perls' theory 103-year-old U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown, who continues...

April 11, 2011

If you want to improve your longevity, how much you whine may be as equally important as how often you enjoy wine. Dr. Mark Lachs warns that longevity not only depends on one's ability to bounce back from biological stress, but sees "adaptive competence as psychologically critical as well." In simpler terms, a brighter attitude could go a long way toward extending your life. A study by Yale Professor Becca Levy found that people who don't let things get them down live an average of 7 ½...

April 9, 2011

At a luncheon in the Australian Parliament House, 27 nonagenarian women were honored for their community service contributions, including Dorothy Clarke, 90, who said, "I find that being active in the community helps me as much as it does others, because it makes me feel like I am contributing something." That's a sentiment shared by many of the other women, who feel that their engagement with the community has kept them going. With all the worthwhile projects this group undertakes--from...

April 7, 2011

After Anthony Smith, 85, was hit by a van, you would think he might be more cautious. Instead, he switched from crossing streets to crossing the Atlantic, using the compensation from the accident to pay for a four-man raft voyage. Smith and his three mates made the journey to prove older adults can still have adventures, to raise awareness about the environment, and to raise money for a nonprofit group that provides water to impoverished areas. The Old Man and the Sea? Not the vigorous...

April 6, 2011

Harvard is no longer just the educator of tomorrow's leaders; now it is the educator of yesterday's leaders as well. Professor Rosabeth Moss Kantor has set up the Advanced Leadership Initiative, a program that accepts successful retirees and helps them set up socially conscious ventures.  Helping disadvantaged kids pay for college, establishing self-sustaining fundraisers in Liberia, and supplying water to places without it are all projects participants in the program are planning to...

March 30, 2011

Horticulture therapist Coral Ayerst has teamed up with Limelight Floral Design owner Kyla Reveley to use flower power to help people with Alzheimer's. Reveley's flower donations allow Ayerst's clients to create crafts with the flowers, triggering memories of past gardens or activities from their youth. Flower arranging is a great way for people with Alzheimer's to stay engaged and can be done at the bedside or from a wheelchair, and horticulture therapy creates self-esteem, calmness, and...

March 30, 2011

In 2008 the Veteran's Health Administration reinvented the nursing home system as a person-centered care model, re-training staff and even renaming homes as "Community Living Centers" to better serve their residents. After observing the resulting success of the Haley Cove Community Living Center (HCCLC) in Tampa, Florida, HCCLC staff recently published a case study documenting their shift to the patient-centered model. These person-centered concepts focus on giving residents more autonomy,...

March 29, 2011

After battling cancer and braving the ensuing medical bills, it can be hard to laugh. But for Susan Braig, satire-inspired art is helping her deal with both the emotional toll breast cancer took on her and the debt she accumulated buying the medication.  That medication has turned into more of an investment than she thought, though. After overcoming the disease Braig is now taking the leftover pills, creating tiaras, pins and pennants with them, and then selling the jewelry. "I needed ...

March 20, 2011

What started as a challenge to golf 90 holes on his 90th birthday has turned into a spectacle of strength for California resident Cy Breen and a windfall for the Jody Klein Breast Cancer Fund, which has received $125,000 from the past decade of Breen’s birthdays spent on the green. "You have to age, but you don't have to get old, Cy is the epitome of that," said friend and occasional caddy Cherie Gruenfeld. Breen, whose stepdaughter lost her battle with breast cancer in 2005, realizes that...

March 18, 2011

Sex, food and illegal drugs normally trigger the release of a substance called dopamine in the brain, which accounts for the feeling of pleasurable rush that accompanies each experience. Now, researchers from McGill University say music has the same effect. This new finding helps to explain why music has become embedded in so many cultures across the world. So skip the bacon and get your enjoyment from the Beatles, Beethoven or whatever music gets your dopamine flowing.
The...

March 17, 2011

Everyone interprets art differently, especially so by people with dementia according to Dr. John Zeisel's new book, I'm Still Here: A New Philosophy of Alzheimer's Care. And that's not a bad thing at all, says Zeisel, as dementia patients often notice aspects of artwork that others miss. Viewing art is just one activity Zeisel advocates for people with dementia; helping with safe kitchen projects and dancing also keep people enjoying life even while dealing with dementia. 
...

March 14, 2011

In the 1960s singer Barbara Dane combined a unique blend of jazz, folk, and blues music with political and social activism to inspire a generation of musicians including a teenage Bonnie Raitt. Some four decades later, at the age of 83, Dane continues to perform and inspire a younger musicians and activists. The longevity of Dane's career is all the more amazing when one considers the principled stands she took along the way, like refusing to play venues that wouldn't allow her to perform...

March 14, 2011

Researchers at the University of Georgia have found that living to be 100 has a lot to do with how individuals deal with stressful situations. "What is happening to you matters, but more importantly, it is your perception of what is happening to you that is really important for your individual health," said Leon Poon, the lead researcher of the study. As a result of their findings, the research team recommends maintaining a supportive network of friends and family and staying upbeat. Doing...

March 12, 2011

Nancy Havlik, a Washington-based choreographer in her 60s, appreciates the upside of aging. "I feel much more freedom with age," she said. "I don't feel like I have to prove anything, and I'm caring less and less what category I'm in, whether it's dance or theater." This liberation from labels allows her to try creative productions involving both the speaking aspect of theater mixed with the choreography and improvisation of dance performances, all while exploring subjects like loss in life...

March 12, 2011

Danny Bianchino celebrated his 90th birthday the same way he spent the majority of his ninety years: dancing. During his service in World War II, Bianchino caught the jitterbug and has not stopped dancing since. While he does have to use crutches, Bianchino danced to everything the Why Not Lounge deejay threw at him. "If you don't have fun, there's something wrong with you," Bianchino said. And with all the lovely ladies lining up to dance with the birthday boy, you can see there's nothing...

March 10, 2011

Early-onset dementia can be just as hard on the spouse as it is on the person with it. When George Hadas was diagnosed with the condition, his wife Rachel turned to poetry. George's disease "presented an enormous cognitive challenge, not only for him but for me," she says. By reading and writing poetry she was able to define her feelings and deal with the loneliness she felt so acutely. By reading the struggles of characters in literature, Rachel feels like her own troubles aren't too big...

March 8, 2011

It's not often that healthy living is so fun. But by acting in a play, jamming on the saxophone, or participating in any other creative activity, older adults can increase the blood flow to their brains, strengthen their immune system and ward off depression, according to multiple studies. What's more, being creative comes to us naturally as we age: older adults are more likely to be outspoken, have more life experiences, and pay attention to a broader scope of knowledge. Given the perfect...

March 4, 2011

Artist and feminist Tina Dolter is on a one-woman crusade to prove that growing old does not mean growing ugly. Well, it's a one-woman crusade if you don't count the dozen women, all over 40, who struck poised and alluring poses for Dolter to paint. The depictions are realistic, the models radiant, and the results remarkable. "Our culture is changing. We're living longer, and we're living healthier longer," said Dolter. "These women have a good attitude about their bodies. Your body now is...

February 28, 2011

People with dementia improve their communication skills after participating in TimeSlips' storytelling program, according to a recent University of Missouri study. The program encourages groups of dementia patients to create stories based on humorous illustrations shown by facilitators. The concept is becoming increasingly attractive says Lorraine Phillips, an assistant professor at the Sinclair School of Nursing. She notes, "It is an effective and simple option for care providers...

February 1, 2011

There is a rumor that one can tell an individual's likelihood of participating in art by his or her age. And according to Mark Stern, it is little more than that: a rumor. A report by the National Endowment of the Arts acknowledges that while there is a small statistical relationship between age and arts participation (with middle-aged adults more likely to be involved in arts than either the youth or older adults), the relationship is modest at best. "Knowing someone's age or year of birth...

January 29, 2011

Art museums make great first dates, but they can make even better dates when one partner is living with dementia. The Toledo Museum of Art is the latest institution to develop a guided tour designed to engage a person living with dementia and his or her spouse, child, or friend in a stimulating afternoon program surrounded by art. The artwork triggers memories that allow people with dementia to talk--oftentimes more than they've done in months or years. "It was a wonderful experience for...

March 15, 2010

80 Lincoln-Hubbard fifth grade students participated in a creative program bringing older and younger people together to help students understand the aging process.  Half of the students played musical bingo with older adults while the other half attended a sensitivity session, then they switched workshops.  The sensitivity sessions used role playing and props to describe the effects of aging to the fifth graders.  They wore eyeglasses smeared with Vaseline to simulate blurred vision as...

March 14, 2010

The Queen Bees, a subgroup of Lynchburg’s Patches ‘n Pieces Quit Club meet once a month to make quilts for community charities such as the Central Virginia Area Agency on Aging, the Family Alliance and the Central Virginia Training Center.  They provide these home-made masterpieces mostly during holidays, often to people who receive very little during that time.  Many of the women who join have never quilted before, and find the meetings to be socially and creatively engaging.  Marge Denham...

March 12, 2010

Rhoda Curtis has written her second book, After Ninety What, a follow-up to her previous one, Rhoda: The First Ninety Years.  The book includes essays, travelogues, short stories and even a play, Family Voices.  Creating has been an integral part of Curtis’s life. “The creative process involved trying, failing or succeeding, and evaluating.  It doesn’t matter if I ever make it.  What’s important is the process.  That’s what’s stimulating and invigorating.  If it doesn’t...

February 27, 2010

A collaboration between the Longy School of Music and the United South End Settlements has resulted in a singing class geared toward older adults.  While most participants use the class as a social outlet and creative expression, 63-year-old Dory Tobias is using the class to help improve her speaking voice.  Joseph Stemple, professor of communication sciences and disorders at the University of Kentucky described presbyphonia, the changing of voice as people age as muscles weaken and vocal...

February 22, 2010

Doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, are studying the profound effect music has on people who have had a stroke using Melodic Intonation Therapy, which plays singing tones with the patient and having them repeat words and phrases to the sound of the tones.  The sessions teach patients several hundred words or phrases, and have helped numerous people, who were previously nonverbal, communicate their daily needs.  “Music, and music-making, is really a very...

February 16, 2010

Caregivers are often searching for creative ways to connect with their loved ones that have Alzheimer’s.  Tandridge Heights, a senior care center, incorporates a ‘Memory Lane’ unit, a place full of vintage pieces including old handbags, a typewriter, posters of famous actors and actresses including Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando and collages of photographs of the residents.  Staff invites people with Alzheimer’s to speak about their past through ‘reminiscence sessions.’  The staff also...

February 15, 2010

The 2009 Arts in Healthcare report conducted in part by the American Hospital Association, Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute on Aging, found that, “research findings indicate that the arts can play a significant role in humanizing healthcare for individuals, families and healthcare providers that serve them; and can become part of the solution to our current healthcare challenges.”  Healthcare facilities like Parker Adventist Hospital, which provides music and artwork...

February 2, 2010

David Brooks describes the increasing benefits of aging by debunking commonly believed myths.  Brooks described the older adult’s brain as one that can continue to create new connections and neurons throughout life.  He references studies that describe aging as a period of development where gender roles begin to merge and personalities become more vivid and distinct in tune with who they really are.  Brooks cites a study done at University of California, Berkeley which conducted a 50-year-...

January 17, 2010

As the graying of America approaches, cities and towns around the United States are stepping up to the challenge of meeting the needs and desires of this growing population.  The suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts are seeing their elder services client base increase exponentially despite resources for older adult services dwindling.  The Metropolitan Area Planning Council has analyzed the demographic trends and found “COA’s and other organizations that work with seniors must rethink the types...

November 13, 2009
Antonette Collins interviewed four leaders in the Creative Aging field to explore the possibilities of arts programs for older adults, increasing the quality of life of older adults and decreasing medical costs.  Susan Perlstein, founder of the National Center for Creative Aging, said, “The research showed that if you learn something new – like learning to paint, sing dance – if you learn something new that that ability to learn something new has ripple effects.  Then you...
November 11, 2009
Healthcare facilities across the world are recognizing the healing powers of art.  Fay Wilkinson, an artist who works in Creative Cocoon Art Studio, explained that a U.K. hospital has doctors that write prescriptions for art making, while U.S. hospitals have artists in residence.  Wilkinson conducted a pilot project, “Art Rx,” which brought art to 10 seniors in long-term care facilities.  Due to the...
November 10, 2009
Denise Reynolds, RD, explores the building research and programs which indicate that creativity positively impacts the lives of people with Alzheimer’s.  Reynolds cites a study done in 1999 at Brighton University which found that people with Alzheimer’s who participated in arts programs showed “significant improvement to their symptoms” just after 10 weeks.  She said that patients with Alzheimer’s often display the “four A’s” – anxiety, aggression, agitation and apathy and...
November 7, 2009

After a long period of silencing his pain with drugs, Vietnam Veteran Louis McNair turned to art.  When McNair returned from duty he calmed himself by drawing, but eventually turned to drugs and is now using art again to express the loss he felt after 44 of his friends passed in the war.  He recently exhibited his work in “One Thousand Words,” along with other war vets.  McNair exclaimed that doing art again made him feel like his old self that he was so desperately...

November 3, 2009
Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne talks about the creative potential that people hold at any age.  Whitbourne defines the concept, “Age Buster,” as a person who defies age often times because they do not think about their age but instead focus on their goals and aspirations.  Whether you participated in creative engagement throughout your life or you are starting and an older age, creativity is an important way to express yourself and become connected to younger generations.  “All...
October 20, 2009
After working as secretary in a laboratory with doctors and scientists including a chemist and 1960 Nobel Prize Laureate Will Libby, Joan Percy went to school to get her bachelors and then eventually masters degree in Art from California State University.  Since then she has worked at a Holistic Art Center where she taught yoga, art and clay therapy on the west coast and moved back east to teach art therapy at both the Carter School, a Boston Public School where she works...
October 8, 2009
Music can be an important tool in helping to decrease anxiety, stimulate memory, and regulate breathing and heartbeat, among many other health advantages for people with illnesses.  After a four week study of music therapy at University of Miami, people with Alzheimer’s had higher levels of melatonin which helps regulate sleep, and showed stronger immunity and calm moods.  Besides physical benefits, music therapy can generate many mental and emotional benefits as well.  ...
October 2, 2009
As the population of older adults rises, the field of Gerontology is growing and expanding including professionals in nursing, art therapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, physicians, dentists and more.  Many gerontology programs focus on a whole-person approach to healing which encompasses people from all different professional backgrounds.  “The great thing about the field of gerontology is that individual from just about any experiential background can qualify because...
August 24, 2009

Quilting is a popular medium for expression among older adults.  Linda Pinnt has taken it to a new level after picking up the hobby 20 years ago after finding old quilting blocks belonging to her late mother.  She has started a local quilting guild with community members and has corresponded with quilters across the world.  After deciding to make a pink quilt for a family member diagnosed with cancer and advertising on a website the need for pink fabric, she received fabric from across the...

August 24, 2009

The Volunteers of America Oregon and the LifeWorks NW and Urban League of Portland produced a report, “It Takes a Village to Live a Life – A  Community Assessment on Aging,” to showcase the results from a two-year needs assessment of older adults and their caregivers.  The report was put together in order to start a dialogue about how older adults in the Portland area can remain active members of a community and really participate in civic engagement.  The highlights of the report will be...

July 30, 2009

Painting can be an extremely beneficial tool when exploring ones feelings when coping with an illness.  The Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center has recently started a watercolor class in the first step towards creating a programming series focused on creating a holistic center for patients and their families. Dr. Joy Hilliard, associate medical director, said, “Our challenge is to meet the needs of the entire individual and the entire family.  The mind/body experience is what we’...

July 16, 2009

Caring for a parent or spouse that can no longer care for themselves can be difficult and draining.  To take off some of the pressure, St. Michael Lutheran Church in Portage, Michigan is one of many locations that have opened an adult-day-service program for members of their community.  The Covenant Senior Day Programs at St. Michael Lutheran Church specializes in Alzheimer’s care, providing their participants with art therapy, baking classes, gardening, and basic medical care while also...

July 14, 2009

When Julia Strecher was 9-years-old she received her second heart transplant after her body rejected the first one putting her in cardiac arrest six times in two hours.  Memories from the traumatic event left her with constant nightmares and anxiety.  To relieve these feelings, she began writing down her thoughts and turned these feelings into poems and stories.  Soon after, the nightmares and stress went away.  The Foundation for Art & Healing is studying the arts and wellness...

July 8, 2009

Pat Howe of La Plata, MD, had to undergo open skull surgery after having a brain aneurysm.  After deciding that a college course would be a little too stressful, the 63-year-old school teacher decided to pick up the guitar, something she had never tried before.  Howe said, “[My friends said] ‘You got divorced, went to school and got your teaching degree at 50.  You’ll be a rock star when you’re 65.’” Howe attends guitar classes at the Waldorf Senior Center taught by Therese Thiedeman for...

June 16, 2009

Guitarist and vocalist Marlina Teich travels around with other musicians in her group, Jazzheimers, an organization that brings jazz to people with Alzheimer’s in hospitals and other healthcare facilities in San Francisco.  Teich takes requests from her listeners who often sing or drum along during the performance.  Teich explained that music helps her listeners trigger memories, and described an instance where after listening to Teich play “It Had to be You,” a participant told a story of...

June 11, 2009
The “Lifting Spirits with Music” program was started by Kathy Atkins for her master’s degree program in gerontology and music at California State University, Sacramento.  The group is composed of 32 musicians in high school who perform 10 or 11 shows a year for seniors.  Lifting Spirits provides older adults with musical entertainment as well as a way to interact with younger generations.  The children often enjoy playing just as much as the seniors enjoy listening.  Lynn, 16, said, “I...
June 7, 2009

At 99-years-old Ida Arbeit it preparing for her next performance onstage with the intergenerational Kairos Dance Theater for “Dancing With Ida,” a show based on her New York dancing experiences.  Arbeit was a professional dancer for 12 years with Helen Tamiris, one of the pioneers of modern dance.  She quit dancing to raise her family and teach music to children, but is back on stage and performing with people of all ages.  Arbeit has shared her numerous moves and stories from her...

June 4, 2009

Judy Cone has been playing the organ, piano, and singing her entire life, and is now sharing her knowledge with other seniors.  Cone retired as Stratford High School’s choral director and found that older adults could also benefit by learning the organ.  She has found that her students physically benefit, experiencing a reduction in stress and anxiety, but also look forward to the classes because they provide social interaction to many people who are lonely and aren’t able to get out often...

June 2, 2009

Sheryl Bannes is an Artists in Residence in Central Montana working through the Artists in Communities and Schools Program.  She teaches writing classes to older adults, stressing the importance of creativity and social activities as essential to people later in life.  Tianta Nelson, Life Engagement Coordinator at Golden Eagle Plaza brings in guest speakers, musical groups and arts and crafts programs to her residents because she has seen their desire to learn and gain knowledge no matter...

May 18, 2009

A study conducted by Tufts University Health & Nutrition suggests that creative exercises such as crafts and music can be just as beneficial as healthy eating and physical exercise.  The three-year study which followed older men and women who participated in arts activities found that after one year participants had fewer doctors’ visits, used less medication and experienced less depression and loneliness.  Gene Cohen, MD, Ph.D., director of The George Washington University Center on...

May 17, 2009
Nessa McCasey and her husband, Brad Miller, use poetry to help individuals and couples heal using words.  Their organization, Writers of Wrongs, promotes using poetry as a form of expression by providing prompts at the beginning of a session that stimulate their thinking and encourages writing.  McCasey has seen the powerful effect poetry has had by observing an increase in self expression and confidence displayed by her students.  McCasey has even used poetry in her own life to help her...
May 16, 2009

“New Horizons,” a musical group affiliated with Duke University’s lifelong learning program is part of a nationwide effort to encourage seniors to come back to playing music or start for the first time ever.  The musicians are from all backgrounds and include professors, bankers, fundraisers, and parents who all quit playing music or never started, and wanted to visit it again.  Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a Duke expert on Alzheimer’s Disease, believes that playing music can provide many...

May 14, 2009

Create and Celebrate Elder Arts, a month-long event sponsored by the Center for Creative Aging-North Carolina, is featuring theatrical performances, live readings and public storytelling, and art exhibits focusing on senior artists.  Leigh Rosenbough, a former lawyer, has rediscovered his childhood passion for painting and has nine pieces in an upcoming exhibit.  “When an art piece comes together and everything goes right, it almost feels like you’re so concentrated that your arm separates...

May 8, 2009

Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot, a noted sociologist and author of “The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50,” described the importance of lifelong learning and intergenerational work.  Her interest in exploring the “Third Chapter” of people’s lives began when she spoke to older people in social situations about what they were excited or passionate about.  These “confessional moments” as she calls them, were instructive: some would speak with enthusiasm “but on the...

February 25, 2009
"Gloria Loughman began quilting to relieve stress due to chemotherapy.  Her art therapy has turned her into a world renowned quilter, winning the 2003 National Quilt Award and author of Luminous Landscapes, released in 2007.  After receiving an arts diploma at Warrnambool TAFE, she went on to run small workshops for country quilters in Australia.  As her reputation grew, she was invited to teach in New Zealand, the US, Canada, Europe, South Africa, and Japan.  She has most recently been...
February 23, 2009
"Music Instructor Michelle Barnard is teaching her students how to play the organ one note at a time.  The therapy helps seniors to develop their hand-eye coordination as they look at a note and place their hand on the key that plays that note.  81-year-old, Linda Empty said, “This training of the hand and the mind, the right and the left side of the brain, has been a real boon to my mental acuity.”  The music therapy also provides a sense of community to participants, decreasing...
February 16, 2009

“The Ohio Department of Aging once again is partnering with the Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE) to solicit nominations for that organization’s fifth annual Practitioner of the Year award. The award recognizes individuals and organizations in Ohio’s aging network who either have improved services to older adults through research and evaluation or have developed noteworthy partnerships with institutions of higher learning for the betterment of Ohio’s older population. For...

February 11, 2009

“A new program at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home is helping many seniors learn to use computers for the first time. Grace Pugliese, 82, is blind and has been using a sound recognition game as part of her daily therapy to strengthen her mind. The game plays different sounds, such as a typewriter or telephone, and she has to guess what the sound is. ‘It’s very neat, very educational,’ Pugliese said. ‘It’s very fun.’” “The nursing home recently installed the “It’s Never 2 Late” computer system and...

February 11, 2009

“A Mayo Clinic researcher found that a computer program can significantly help older adults improve their memory and thinking skills. Neuropsychologist Glenn Smith led the study which was funded by Posit Science, the company that developed the computer program. Smith said the software hones participants' ability to quickly process information Researchers tested their general thinking skills, like memory, problem solving and processing. "The group who was doing the experimental task showed a...

January 18, 2009

The “Creative Writing Class of the Newhall Senior Center,” better known as “Golden Pen Writer’s Guild” is a 10-year-old group that entices seniors to write, and provides a strong sense of community as well as an escape from the hectic everyday lives of many of its members.  The group has a range of members including Dena Miller who has published four novels and a few short stories, to Terry Wald, who does not have much experience writing, but has found the group to be a strong support...

January 12, 2009

Many reporters wrote beautiful articles about the life and work of Dr. Gene D. Cohen.  Find them below. 

More Information>

More Information>

 

December 12, 2008

Several small-scale studies suggest some surprising benefits of listening to music, from the brain down to the blood vessels. A team at Stanford University's School of Medicine reports that listening to music might hold an adaptive evolutionary purpose, sharpening the ability to anticipate events and sustain focus.  Finnish researchers have found that music could help aid cognitive recovery soon after a stroke. Another study out of the University of Maryland School of Medicine finds that...

September 22, 2008

Art therapist Jeri Corbin, 74, teaches three times a week at Covenant at South Hills Retirement Community, encouraging residents to learn art techniques and hopes they also experience pleasure and enjoyment from the classes.  At the age of 50 Corbin decided to pursue art therapy as a career and enrolled at George Washington University.  Corbin focuses on the art as therapy and only asks questions about how her students are feeling at the end of class.  “To be able to create is unbelievable...