Orange Coast Music Therapy - "Music is what feelings sound like..."
 The Benefits Of Creativity To The Elderly 
by Amber Paley
http://sumo.ly/37M0 via @CreativityU
As we age, cognitive and physical exercise are imperative not only to our health, but to our overall life expectancy. 
Below are ways that the elderly benefit from creativity.
Physical Creativity – Music and Physical Activities
Recent studies indicate that listening to music while engaging in physical exercise helps the elderly maintain their balance while walking, and ultimately reduces their risk of falling. 
The risk of falling is a huge threat to the elderly; nearly a third of all senior citizens fall at least once during each year. 
A recent Swedish study shows that engaging in physical activity, like dancing or working out, to piano music benefits the elderly more so than engaging in the same activities without music.
Listening to music in general is associated with providing health benefits to the elderly. 
It increases their psychological health by promoting good feelings, like a happier outlook on life, and suppressing bad feelings, like anxiety.  
Music listening also increases the elderly’s physical health; it has been found to diminish pain and increase cognitive capacities.
Physical Creations – Mind Stimulating
Creating things, like pottery, or painting, engage the elderly both cognitively and psychologically. 
Cognitively, they are utilizing a part of their brain that they probably wouldn’t ordinarily. 
According to recent findings in a Journal of the American Medical Association study, exercising the brain is as important to keeping the brain alert and strong as physical exercise is important to keeping the body strong and able. 
Psychologically, the benefits of creating things is fulfilling and gives people a sense of worth and contribution; creating gives people a more positive outlook on life, and as we age, having the a negative outlook can cause mental and physical deterioration.
Creativity Through Self-Expression
Writing and creating music, among other things, are great ways for the elderly to express themselves and contribute what they have to offer to their peers and the world. 
Like with creative physical creations, writing and music are very beneficial to the elderly’s cognitive health. 
It is especially beneficial if the elderly are learning as they write or are learning to play a new instrument; learning to do something new engages and exercises the brain, ultimately promoting its health.
Other Ways Creativity Benefits The Elderly
When grandchildren create arts and crafts for grandparents living at home or in a nursing facility, it is a great way for grandparents to see that they are loved and important. 
It is easy for the elderly to feel forgotten because their loved ones live fast-paced lives; in receiving a gift from their grandchildren, grandparents benefit psychologically from their grandchildren’s creativity. 
Here are some great arts and crafts ideas that children can make by themselves or with their grandparents:
  • A family tree
  • A snowman
  • Create stories
  • Family photo albums
  • Holiday decorations
  • Paint ceramics
  • Make scrapbooks


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