Retirement is a great time for older adults to explore new hobbies and spend more time doing things they enjoy. Many seniors enjoy exploring their creative side through art, whether by drawing, painting, sculpting, or otherwise.
Art is a wonderful hobby because it comes in many different forms and is accessible to nearly all seniors, whether they live independently or in a skilled nursing facility. There are also several ways that creative art projects promote healthy aging in older adults, turning a fun hobby into one that stimulates the mind and body.
Stimulate the Mind
Stimulating both the body and mind is key to healthy aging. Seniors who do not keep their minds engaged are far more likely to experience early cognitive decline and other symptoms associated with poor mental health. But while exercising the body is more straightforward, exercising the mind sometimes takes more creative approaches.
Art is a great way to have fun and challenge the mind at the same time. Creative activities stimulate areas of the brain that other hobbies don’t, and exploring new forms of art can be both challenging and rewarding.
Improve Mental Health
Many seniors struggle with declining mental health due to a lack of stimulation and less exposure to new experiences that challenge the mind. However, art has been proven to improve mental health in a number of areas, including:
- Decreasing feelings of depression
- Decreasing feelings of anxiety
- Promoting relaxation
- Boosting mood
- Improving confidence
- Alleviating stress
Mental health should be a priority for every senior, and picking up art as a hobby is an easy way to take a step in the right direction. Even short amounts of time spent on creative art projects can have significant benefits.
Encourage an Active Lifestyle
Another challenge that many seniors face during retirement is declining levels of activity. It’s all too easy for seniors to let their healthy habits slip and fall into a sedentary lifestyle, but seniors who engage in hobbies like creative art are more likely to establish and keep routines and are more motivated to stay active in their day-to-day lives.
When seniors embrace art as a hobby, it becomes something that they look forward to and something that motivates them to jump-start each day.
Provide a Sense of Purpose
When seniors retire, they often struggle with a lack of purpose that was once provided by a career or raising children. However, finding a new sense of purpose during retirement is an important part of promoting healthy aging.
Creative art is a great hobby to restore a sense of purpose because seniors are left with tangible accomplishments through their art pieces. Seniors can use art to decorate their space, give away as gifts, or even sell.
Encourage Social Activity
Social interaction is an important part of healthy aging. While it can be embraced as a simple hobby, art is meant to be shared and can therefore promote social activity. It can therefore be a perfect bridge to help seniors engage more with their peers, either by showing off their pieces to friends or by painting/drawing together.
Creative Art Projects in Assisted Living
Seniors do not have to live independently to embrace all that creative art projects have to offer. In assisted living, seniors can fully explore different art projects with the help of staff and family. Seniors can even encourage other residents to join. No matter what art form seniors choose, creative art projects can be a key part of aging in a healthy way.