Creative Arts: A Key Component to Creative Aging

Current research on aging is shifting old paradigms, from seeing it as a decline in one’s ability to seeing one’s potential. This potential has been given a new catchphrase: creative aging and it describes how individuals will approach and manage old age. Current views on creative aging will be explored, and addressing the three life tasks of, work, intimacy, and friendship will consider an Adlerian view on creative aging. Arts and aging research has deemed a multimodal approach that includes mental and physical activities, and social engagement, as essential components for creative aging. Furthermore, longitudinal research has proven that creative arts programs have considerable protective factors on the mental and physical health and wellbeing of individuals when they consistently participate in creative arts programs. The National Center for Creative Aging has established a national database on best practice creative arts programs. Ebenezer Ridges, in Burnsville, MN, incorporates those best practice elements into their multimodal approach to their Life-Long Learning creative arts programs. One particular artist collective, formed in 2008, will showcase how creative aging, its therapeutic benefits, and social engagement can be achieved from continuous engagement in a visual arts program. Social engagement will be described using Adler’s concepts of social interest and feelings of belonging.

Donna Morris
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