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Art and Aging: How Art Can Benefit Older Adults

Older adults need to exercise their brain and their body.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association have found with older adults that exercising the brain is as important to keep the brain alert and strong as physical exercise is to keep the body strong and able.The benefits of movement, building, inventing or creating things is fulfilling, and it gives people a sense of worth andBenefits of art in older adults contribution while helping them to maintain a positive outlook on life.

In the book Successful Aging, John W. Rowe, MD, and Robert L. Kahn, PhD, discuss three aspects of successful aging: low risk of disease; high mental and physical functioning; and being actively engaged in life. Expressive art activities can help promote active engagement in life. And art keeps older adults engaged in life in positive, healthy and fulfilling ways.

Art has a positive effect on health and illness as we age. It can serve as therapy by offering an outlet for an older adult to express themselves, and it assists individuals in tapping into and expressing their imagination and creativity. The benefits of many art forms, including dance, writing, pottery, painting, poetry, knitting, woodworking and crafting, have the following positive results in older adults:

  • helping individuals relax
  • providing a sense of control
  • reducing depression and anxiety
  • assisting in socialization
  • encouraging playfulness and a sense of humor
  • improving cognition
  • offering sensory stimulation
  • fostering a stronger sense of identity
  • increasing self-esteem
  • nurturing spirituality
  • reducing boredom

As we age, cognitive and physical exercise are imperative not only to our health, but to our overall life expectancy.

If older adults are experiencing frustrations with the age-related decline in his or her physical abilities, creative arts programs can provide them with an outlet for expressing their feelings in a positive way. Participatory creative arts programs also can lead to an increased sense of well-being, as well as decreased rates of psychological issues such as depression.

How has art impacted your life? Share your comments below or join our conversation on Facebook.

If you’d like to learn more about our Companion Care Services – like taking your loved one to his or her favorite art class – contact us today.

2 responses to “Art and Aging: How Art Can Benefit Older Adults”

  1. Hello,


    I am part of the content department at Scrapbook.com, a website dedicated to the benefits and joy of crafting and living a life handmade worldwide. We help empower people to get creative and create with their hands by providing inspiration, research based articles, video tutorials, crafting supplies, classes, and more! My name is Sarah Richards 🙂

    Over the past year, we’ve worked extremely hard to build an article that is accurate, easy to read, and has beautiful photos about a topic we feel very passionate about: how crafting is good for your health! 

    We created this so individuals could understand how crafting and creativity can help lower stress, nurture happiness, pride, positive self-esteem, and more – all backed up with real research!  You can find this page here: https://www.scrapbook.com/articles/crafting-makes-you-healthier-and-happier

    We believe it’s a wonderful, inspiring article that will truly help people find motivation and purpose in their creations. It literally covers everything from understanding how creating can counterbalance a modern lifestyle with a lot of screentime, what ways screentime can adversely impact us, reasons creating handmade items helps, and more. This article contains up to date research and, like all of our articles, we update it as-needed to ensure it always has the most relevant information!

    I would love you to consider placing a link on your site to it, so that others can get even more inspiration on why being creative is such an amazing way to practice self-care: https://www.scrapbook.com/articles/crafting-makes-you-healthier-and-happier

    Thank you – please let me know if you have any questions and would be willing to share with your readers/followers 🙂 


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