Living in a Senior Community isn’t just about receiving care, it’s about aging well and making the most out of your retired golden years. One of the greatest pleasures of retired life is having the time to enjoy more hobbies or creative endeavors.
Visual art, crafts, and other creative outlets are not only fun options for older adults, but they are important activities for seniors which actually have a direct and significant positive effect on overall health and mental state, and can improve their quality of life.
How does being creative help your mental health?
Being creative allows you to express your inner self - without restrictions, limitations or direction. This can be freeing and liberating for many, who use art or crafting as a way to express themselves or their emotions.
Creativity has been linked with releasing positive emotions, which in turn reduce symptoms of anxiety or depression. Creativity and mental health are closely linked, and working in the arts can help promote a healthy mindset. Those that engage in creative activities - like making art, crafts or music, tend to experience more positive moods overall, including increasing feelings of happiness, comfort and optimism. Artistic hobbies are great for reducing stress and anxious thoughts or behaviors.
Focusing on a specific task - such as the project at hand - can also help individuals be more mindful, focused and relaxed.
How can being creative help provide a sense of purpose:
Another great benefit of creative activities for seniors is the sense of purpose and accomplishment it can bring. As we age and move into retirement, it can be disorienting to have a lot of free time and no longer have a job or task to do. Artistic activities can offer a sense of accomplishment - making something with your hands and seeing the end result come together can be a satisfying and enriching experience.
Having a sense of purpose is important to the overall well being, mental health and mood of older adults.
You can read more about ways to promote positive mental health here.
How can artistic activities promote physical health?
The creative process is not just good for the brain, it has many health benefits as well. Working with your hands and using your mind to make crafts and art can help encourage strong hand-eye coordination. Physical activity is important for day to day life, but can also ward off arthritis by keeping joints - especially fingers - loose and flexible.
Because creativity can help reduce stress, it is also a great way to help lower blood pressure and promote a healthy immune system since your body is healthier when your mind is at ease.
How does Pacifica Senior Living promote creativity?
We love getting creative at Pacifica Senior Living. Whether it is through music, art, crafts or dance, we love to express ourselves and encourage our residents to do the same. Creative expression can boost self-esteem and cognitive function, which brings good health and wellness.
A more part of our programs at Pacifica - and what sets us apart from many other senior living communities - are our activities and events. Each of our communities have an Activities Team who plan daily events, groups and games for our residents to join in as they please. Many of these activities are creative, such as art classes, creative writing time, craft activities, or musical events.
These activities are great places for residents to make friends and form bonds with one another. Enjoying new activities and social engagement is especially important in later life to promote healthy aging. Holiday themed crafts are common, from painting classes to Easter egg dying, making paper garlands, flower crowns, Christmas tree decorations, Halloween masks, birdhouse building - the list goes on!
Art therapy is also particularly important in Memory Care communities, as arts programs have been known to create a calm, soothing environment. Older people with memory loss or mild cognitive impairment often find creative arts a relaxing activity, as these types of engrained function based memories are less affected by memory conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. These Art activities instead bring back long term or childhood memories associated with positive feelings and associations.
Getting creative and participating in a variety of artistic activities can bring personal growth, social interaction, positive health outcomes, and overall enhance the lives of older adults.
You can view the event and activities calendar for your local community to see all our residents get up to, or follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see our residents in action! You can even join in with loved ones and see what creative aging is all about.