Art is the transformation of the tangible (bodies, instruments, paper, ink, clay, fabric, etc.) and intangible (words, sounds, memories, emotions, ideas, etc.) into something new, such as sculpture, living history theater, musical performances, digital media, stories, paintings, dance, quilts, or poems. The process of creating, as well as the art that is created, transforms the participants and the people around them like other participants, family members, professional caregivers, and everyone who experiences the art.
With his 2006 landmark publication the “Creativity & Aging Study,” Gene D. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., demonstrated that participation in activities that foster creative engagement and skills mastery in a social environment has positive psychological, physical, and emotional health benefits for older adults.
Dr. Cohen and other researchers have shown that structured arts programs foster mastery and promote social engagement, which are two key ingredients for healthy aging.
His work, however, is just the beginning. Explore our site and the wonderful work our members are doing across the nation delivering creative approaches to supporting older people to achieve better health, wellbeing and quality of life by visiting our directory (hyper link to our directory). But there are still so many ways that we can better engage older people in our work. Reach out to us and let us know how we can bring the arts to older adults in your community.