At Discovery Villages, we help our Senior Citizens find the best ways to improve their physical, mental and emotional well being through our award-winning activities and wellness programs. We support our older adults, helping them discover opportunities to successfully engage and create meaning in their lives. Talk to our staff at Discovery Villages today about all the ways we can help you or your loved one improve their overall wellness and health.
Productive aging is related to greater participation in activities, spending time with loved ones and enjoying hobbies. When Seniors participate in Arts programming, it can help support their overall well being.
In fact, according to The Gerontological Society of America, participation in the arts positively impacts the physical health, mental health and social activities of older adults, ages 65 and older.
In his case study, Geriatric psychiatrist, Dr. Gene D. Cohen, measured a group of Seniors participating in an arts group versus another group of Seniors not involved in an arts group. Both groups were around the same age, from the same demographic and from the same location. The researchers evaluated the physical health, mental health and social engagement of the older adult participants at the beginning of the study, and then later during the 12-month mark. At the beginning of the study, the findings for both groups were the same. However, the 12-month evaluation mark showed a great difference between the groups. The group participating in the arts program rated their overall health as improved, while the other group reported a decline in health.
Furthermore, the group not participating in the arts showed:
- An increase in visits to the doctor
- An increase in medication usage
- An increase in falls
- A decrease in morale
- An increase in depression
- An increase in reporting health problems
- Significant decreases in weekly activities
Some of the reasons that arts programs have been shown to help older adults with productive aging and overall well being include:
- Experiencing a set commitment, which thus provides a sense of control
- Providing opportunities to socially engage with others
- Accomplishing something meaningful that is valued by other participants and the community
- Emphasizing ability instead of disability, which can ultimately change attitudes about what it means to grow old
- Positive interactions with other participants and community
It is important to recognize that not all arts programs are created equal. A quality arts program for Seniors should:
- Enhance the quality of the participants’ lives in some way
- Take into consideration the abilities of the Seniors participating, and plan accordingly
- Include professional teaching artists
- Take time for Senior Citizens to evaluate and reflect upon their experience
- Create a positive community
Below are a few examples of some quality arts programming available in the United States:
History Alive This is a program of Elders Share the Arts, taking place in Brooklyn, New York. In this intergenerational program, Youth and Seniors collaborate by sharing stories from their individual experiences. Seniors share their wisdom, and youth gain exposure to different perspectives of life. This eight to twelve week program culminates in a final event, which includes performances, readings, exhibitions and published stories from the participants.
Piano Class For 55+ This is a program for Seniors new to playing the piano, taking place in Fairfax, Virginia. A professional instructor who is trained to work with a variety of levels and abilities teaches this 10-week course, which culminates in an informal performance where families are invited to attend. These classes are accessible to people with disabilities.
In the Moment This program at the Carnegie Museum of Arts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania provides art tours for older adults experiencing Neurocognitive Disorders and their caregivers. These tours empower older adults who are in the early to mid memory loss stage to engage and interact with five works of art based on a given theme.
To learn more about Creative Aging Programs in America and ways to get involved in a variety of Arts programming, check out this directory from The National Center for Creative Aging.
Finally, enjoy creative arts programming in a community such as Discovery Villages. Contact us today to find out more about how we can support you in productive aging.
Discovery Village at Sandhill offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 803.836.9545