In the Resources section you will find research, white papers, reports, archived webinars, toolkits and more focusing on creativity and aging. Click the drop down menu below to search the page according to resource type.

This study evaluated the cognitive improvements associated with theatrical intervention in residents of a continuing care facility. Eighteen residents, ages 72-95, completed a theater arts course created to improve memory and promote healthy cognitive aging. Self- reported assessments showed that most participants had memory concerns, but they did not experience serious mental impairment.

This 17-session drama workshop explored the benefits of creative drama as an art form for older adults. Participants’ verbal samples were content-analyzed to examine the changes in four psychological states: anxiety, hostility, hope and human relations. Observations showed reduced anxiety and hostility, but there were no definitive changes in hope or human relations. Davis’ study is a foundation for continued research in arts/humanities and social/behavioral sciences.

This pilot program evaluated the impact that jazz dance class instruction had on balance, cognition, and mood (specifically depression) in thirteen healthy, English-speaking older women. Self-report questionnaires and the sensory organization test (SOT) for balance measurements were used to collect data. The study concluded that SOT scores showed an increased trend while changes in MMSE and GDS were not significant. Balance measures improved throughout the three different stages of the study.

This study, led by Gene D. Cohen, MD, looked at the impact of professionally conducted cultural programs on the physical health, mental health, and social functioning of older adults. This was the first controlled study to look at the impact of tapping into creative potential apart from treating problems to promote health with aging.

Still Kicking cover art

This study of aging performing artists 62+ in the metro areas of LA and NYC complements our earlier study of aging visual artists. In NYC 219 and in LA 51 professional actors, dancers, choreographers, musicians and singers were studied, with results showing their resilience, tenacity and lifelong engagement with their art and the public.

This study investigated the benefits that short-term theater can have on older adults’ cognitive functioning and psychological well-being. The participants, ages 60-86, engaged in one of three study conditions, theater arts, visual arts or no treatment. The theater course was designed for participants to experience the essence of acting. The visual arts course included speculating on the intention of the artist through examination of the work and interpreting highly ambiguous images.

This study observed the well-being of 12 individuals while engaging in Memories in the Making, an art program designed for people in early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s. Memories in the Making encourages self-expression through visual arts. The results from the intervention were compared observations of the same participants in more traditional adult day center activities. Results showed that individuals were significantly more interested with sustained attention, pleasure, self-esteem and normalcy during Memories in the Making.

This report describes the findings of a study designed to evaluate the efficacy of the Meet Me at MoMA program for people in the early stage of dementia and their family caregivers.

This study examined the relation between leisure activities and the risk of dementia in a prospective cohort of 469 subjects older than 75 years of age who resided in the community and did not have dementia at base line. Among leisure activities, reading, playing board games, playing musical instruments, and dancing were associated with a reduced risk of dementia. A one-point increment in the cognitive-activity score was significantly associated with a reduced risk of dementia.

This study evaluates the transfer from the domain-specific, sensorimotor training to cognitive abilities that are affiliated with executive function. Piano instruction was used as a cognitive intervention to abate normal age-related decline in older adults. Thirty-one musically naïve older adults, ages 60-85, were given three assessments to test their cognitive decline. The results show that musical intervention can be a capable cognitive intervention for age-related cognitive decline.