Doing Art Can Positively Influence Senior Health

As we age, participation in the arts positively affects our health. The  Creativity and Aging Study conducted between 2001 and 2007 with Gene Cohen, MD, Ph.D., as the primary investigator, strongly supports this. Cohen and others involved in the study found seniors active in arts had better physical health, fewer visits to the doctor required less medication, and fell less frequently than those in the study not involved in arts. Arts in the study referred to “art and cultural disciplines, such as painting, pottery, dance, music, poetry, drama, material culture, and oral histories in a creative context.” The study’s results reinforce the need for these types of activities in senior living communities.

Many other sources also speak to health benefits of art for seniors. At the 2016 National Center for Creative Aging Conference, National Taiwan University Professor Peishan Yang shared results of the History Alive and Legacy Art Work programs that have served 60,000 older adults since 2005. She said participants had decreased rates of depression and loneliness, as well as higher morale and better hand dexterity. They also had improved mood and confidence that flowed into different areas of their lives.


Therapeutic arts and crafts:

  • Aid in relaxation, anxiety, and depression
  • Give feelings of control
  • Improve communication and socialization
  • Encourage humor and playfulness
  • Improve cognition
  • Offer sensory stimulation
  • Foster a strong sense of identity
  • Bolster self-esteem
  • Nurture faith
  • Reduce boredom

Doing Art Can Positively Influence Senior Health

Love and CAre 

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