As children, we are encouraged to be creative – to play instruments, craft, paint and dance. But as the pressures of adult life begin to pile up, many find themselves gradually letting go of their creative side. Once in retirement, seniors have ample free time and an opportunity to rediscover their artistic nature, reaping the benefits of exploring their natural talents.
Ongoing research suggests that creativity may be key to healthy aging. Studies have shown that participating in activities such as singing, theater performance and artistry can support the well-being of older adults, and that creativity can lead to greater longevity.
Every day offers a variety of activities and events to choose from that promote physical activity, lifelong learning, social connection and overall wellness. Our intellectual and cultural activities like art projects, writing classes and discussion groups offer stimulating socialization and help residents get in touch with their creative side.
Creative activities have been shown to have a positive effect on both physical and mental health. Research has found that creative expression gives seniors and aging parents a sense of purpose, maintains their coordination and concentration, and improves their mental health. And for those seniors with dementia, Parkinson’s disease and other chronic degenerative diseases, participating in creative activities can reduce anxiety and depression.
Living a creative life can help older adults in multiple ways, including being part of the six aspects of successful aging that researchers have identified:
Activities at Hawthorn communities incorporate all six aspects of successful aging through creative and other types of pursuits. Residents are provided a well-rounded and robust wellness plan to ensure an engaging and fulfilled retirement.
At all 79 Hawthorn Senior Living communities, residents can explore the diverse activities calendars, which change monthly and are curated based on resident feedback. Examples of activities include painting, sketching, photography, clay modeling, mosaics, ceramics, jewelry making, knitting, crocheting, quilting, flower arranging, wreath making and scrapbooking, just to name a few. These activities are also used in several outreach projects at Hawthorn—making wreaths for local firefighters, decorating and filling Christmas boxes for children in need around the world, and hand-sewing masks for community residents and team members.
While some programs are available at all Hawthorn communities, others may currently be available at only those locations where residents have expressed interest. The Hawthorn Senior Living teams survey residents as well as organize resident-led committees to inspire and drive the activity choices we offer.
For example, at Summit Glen in Colorado Springs, Colorado, residents have been busy making jewelry, stained glass art and their very own paper spring flower bouquets. This month’s activity calendar gives residents the opportunity to plant spring flowers, join the community choir and make cards.
Residents at Olympus Ranch in Murray, Utah, have been learning about Chinese culture and painted Chinese calligraphy on canvas – a perfect example of combining mind-stimulating activities and creative arts. This month, residents can bake challah with the head chef, create personalized fragrances, and write and share their own poetry.
Get Creative at a Hawthorn Senior Living Near You
Creative activities help us discover new strengths because of our age, not despite it. They bring a sense of meaning, purpose and joy to our lives. And Hawthorn Senior Living communities provide an unmatched array of creative activities for seniors. In fact, creativity and lifelong learning are woven into the tapestry of Hawthorn life.