Thriving by Creating

Creativity and a sense of purpose:

As adults age, their lifestyles and priorities change, and aging well is frequently top of mind. 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.

A sense of purpose is significant for older adults, especially if they spent most of their younger years defined by a career or by raising children and running a household. Once those responsibilities are lifted, older adults can sometimes develop an uncertainty about their purpose later in life. This can affect health and overall well-being. Participating in artistic activities, however, bolsters problem-solving skills and satisfaction that older adults can take into everyday life. Also, when older adults can share their handmade gifts with friends and family, they develop a sense of pride in what they have created.

Creativity the benefits of art on older adult’s health:

It’s no secret that individuals today are living longer and embracing new and different activities well into their older years. Longer lives beg the question, what can be done to age well? Keeping one’s health in check with proper nutrition, physical activity, and regular checkups is typically the go-to answer. But it is also important to consider other, seemingly insignificant activities that can benefit older adults’ health. Participating in and enjoying artistic endeavors – even when seniors are not necessarily creatively inclined – can have a positive impact on health by creating a sense of purpose and keeping the mind busy.

Creative Professionals:

Examples of individuals who turned to art in their late adulthood include Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses) and Grandma Layton (Elizabeth Layton.) Grandma Moses began her career as a folk artist and painter in her 70s and continued for much of the remaining 30 years of her life. Grandma Layton took a contour drawing class at the age of 68 and continued to create for the rest of her life, crediting drawing with curing a 35-year depression.

Creativity at Epworth Villa:

Currently there are classes taught by a former art teacher.  Some of the students are accomplished artists, but some are new.  The veterans of the group are experimenting with new mediums.  For example, one Resident had only painted with oils, but was recently experimenting with pencil drawings and watercolors.    Our core belief at Epworth Villa is Enhancing Lives so People Thrive, and creativity through art, sewing, knitting, quilting, drawing, coloring and creative writing is how we encourage that sense of purpose.  We are thriving together.