Over 10 years of applied research in the field of aging, along with decades of anecdotal evidence, has shown that participation in the arts is an extraordinary elixir for the prevention of, or antidote to, many of the negative impacts of the aging process.
As our lifespans increase, we find ourselves living with more and more “conditions” that, while often manageable, tend to impact our daily lives. This can be compounded with the onset of multiple chronic conditions.
However, we know that poor health is not necessarily an inevitable consequence of aging according to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. We are learning more about how older adults confront and accommodate changes in health…in the context of life satisfaction and other psychosocial factors. Creative Aging is one avenue to explore to help maintain a healthful life.
Historically, we have “medicalized” aging, regarding older people as “patients” requiring services and defaulting to the the health professional as “expert”. Western society is encouraged to view aging as pathological, a period of loss and decline, whereas “Creative Aging” recognizes the potential for life-long growth and development.
A ground breaking Cohen study released in 2005 in the USA was the first multisite, longitudinal controlled study of the impact of participation in arts activities on general health, mental health, and social activities. It showed that participants in the arts had better overall health, fewer doctors’ visits, fewer prescribed medications , fewer falls, fewer reported other health problems, better morale, less loneliness and greater participation in activities overall.
Join us Tuesday January 21st, for the Waterloo Region CARP Chapter 25 evening of “Creative Expression” and see if there’s a healthful artistic/creative outlet for you.
Similar results have been found in research into lifelong physical activity. So save the date for our March 18th event, where we will “Focus on Fitness” for all levels.
Visit www.carpwr.ca to register.