Life expectancy is increasing worldwide, thanks in part to advances in medicine and technology. This is especially characteristic of industrialized countries. People are living longer and staying active, regardless of age. Older people are looking for new activities that will give meaning to this period of life. And creative workshops are one way to do this.
Creativity to help older people?
Creative activities have been proven to have a positive impact on both mental and physical health. Despite the breakthrough of art therapy in the health field, its effects on the elderly are still poorly understood. However, this is not stopping researchers and policy makers from gradually introducing it into the care system.
Benefits of creative leisure activities
Like other group activities, creative workshop reduces social isolation by encouraging people to socialize. The advantage is that it gives them the opportunity both to realize their artistic talents with others in the same room and to practice them on their own.
It is also easier for shy or unsociable people to participate, and it is easier for everyone else to bond knowing they have common interests.
Improved mental health
Creative hobbies help you focus. Trying a new activity is a great way to keep your brain active and stimulated. Painting, knitting, and pottery all help slow cognitive decline in older adults.
Studies show that art therapy makes it easier for seniors to socialize and relieves symptoms of anxiety and depression. People with dementia or Alzheimer's disease show signs of improvement by engaging in creative activities.
A backdrop for new friendships
An easy way to make friends at any age? Participating in group activities. As we age, this becomes even more important for a number of reasons:
- In retirement, seniors lose touch with their work colleagues.
- When they move to a new home, they lose old friends.
- If their family lives far away, they rarely get visits.
All these factors contribute to the feeling of isolation that many older people experience. That is why it is worth organizing creative workshops so that pensioners can make new acquaintances with like-minded people.
Improved physical well-being
The link between creativity and mental health is easier to make than between creativity and physical health. But it does exist. Engaging in creative activities affects the nervous system, helps stabilize heart rate and hormone production. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, which provide a sense of pleasure and well-being.
A recent study of older adults participating in creative activities showed the following benefits:
- A higher percentage of participants with better physical health;
- Reduction in the number of accidental falls;
- Reduction in the number and type of medications participants take;
- Fewer visits to the doctor.
Engaging in creative activities will give seniors a sense of purpose and allow them to blossom again. If they do it regularly, they will see their progress and feel a sense of accomplishment that will motivate them to continue.