Creative Aging Matters, part 1


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IMG_0359 The woman behind the term “smART living,” Karen Kaplita, has written several pieces for Arts Escape’s newsletters. She’s a Lifetime Learning Coordinator, and one of the more recent articles she’s written involves what she calls Creative Aging. The piece is called “Creative Aging: Why It Should Matter to You.” Look for her writing in future newsletters! As for the smART living blog, I thought it’d be a good idea to write about some of Karen’s ideas in a few consecutive entries. One of the reasons she lists for why older adults should pursue creative learning is to improve memory and cognition. She writes, “… numerous art forms… lead to a significant improvement in older adults’ psychological capacity to resist stress. Daily stress, in and of itself, can cause memory problems, and long-term stress is connected with faster rates of decline in brain health” (September 2015). Karen goes on to explain that it’s about making art and creating things, as opposed to appreciating others’ art, that have more of a positive impact on the brain. As for myself, I’m a writer. More specifically, I write poetry, and I agree with Karen’s research that art is certainly therapeutic. I can write about whatever is on my mind, and even if nothing specific is floating around up there, sometimes I just feel the need to create something. Doing so is not only rewarding mentally but physically, in that mental stability leads to physical improvement. I’m more alert, I can sleep better if I’m writing late at night, and most of all, some of my work can inspire more work. I’ve seen the same in sculptors, sketch artists, painters, and many other types of creative minds. What do you do creatively that you consider to be therapeutic? Do you find that it effects you positively in other areas of your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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