Not everyone has a creative flair but, as you get older, participating in creative activities can be beneficial.
People are living longer and although nutrition, physical activities and regular check ups play a big part in this, spending time being creative, creating a sense of purpose and keeping the mind busy all contribute to this.
According to a study published in the Journal of Aging Studies, study participants, aged 60 to 93, identified six features of successful aging: a sense of purpose, interactions with others, personal growth, self-acceptance, autonomy, and health. Creative activities, such as writing, painting, or knitting, encourage a sense of competence, purpose, and growth—all of which contribute to aging well. (Holiday Retirement, n.d.)
This isn’t something that has to just be introduced only into care environments but even sitting down with a loved one in their own home and letting them be creative can benefit their well-being.
Here are a few ideas to get their creativity flowing:
• Drawing and painting.
- Sewing and knitting – A nice idea is to sew some fabric together and fill with lavender. This way they can then use their creations or give them as a gift. If sewing is too much, fabric glue can be just as good.
• Using beads and other materials to create jewellery.
• Crafts with materials such as lolly sticks and pipe cleaners and fabrics.
• For someone who thinks they have no creative flair, take old photographs and create a collage.
A care village in Cheshire have already started to incorporate arts into their routines and are seeing the benefits. Friendships are being made between residents and the staff can see the pleasure it brings to the residents and the pride they are showing for their creations. (The Guardian, n.d.)
The families also get enjoyment out of seeing what their loved one has created. They don’t just do messy arts and crafts but they also use voice recorders and get residents to talk about their pasts and recall certain feelings and memories.
The term ‘art’ can be anything, crafts, singing, photography, drama. The idea behind these activities is the same. Bring people together, alleviate boredom, give them a sense of purpose, help with hand-eye coordination, cognitive abilities and concentration and giving them the best quality of life possible.
Holiday Retirement. (n.d.). Benefits of Art on Senior Health | Holiday Retirement. [online] Available at: https://www.holidaytouch.com/retirement-101/senior-living-articles/creativityand- aging-benefits-of-art-on-senior-health [Accessed 12 Sep. 2019].
The Guardian. (n.d.). ‘It helps residents stay healthy’: the benefits of arts in care homes. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/26/arts-care-homeshealthy [Accessed 12 Sep. 2019].