Remember when you were a kid and you enjoyed drawing, coloring or creating art just for the sake of creating? Remember that joy and happiness you had when you were doing something artistic? Somewhere along the path to adulthood, many of us end up losing that “spark” due to time, perceived lack of talent or any other reason. That’s a completely natural progression in our lives. However, by letting go of that creative spark, we’re missing out on the powerful benefits of art and creativity.
“Art and creativity have so many more benefits than simply making something beautiful,” says Terri Geppner, Director of Community Relations at Aspired Living of La Grange. “It has incredible mental, emotional, spiritual and even physical effects, too. The creative arts have long inspired, uplifted and encouraged people of all ages, which is why it’s such an important part of our offerings here at Aspired Living of La Grange.”
One such offering is ArtPATH, one of the unique VIVA!SM programs threaded through life at Aspired Living of La Grange. “This isn’t your grandma’s arts and crafts session,” says Terri. “Instead, residents have the chance to learn sophisticated techniques used by master artists and use those skills to create masterpieces that encourage individualism and expression. We do everything from individual projects to community-wide undertakings. We’re definitely a community of artists here – each and every one of us!”
The Top Benefits of Being Creative and Artistic
1. You become a better problem solver. Being an artist means looking at the world through a different lens or a different perspective. This creative ability – the ability to think beyond the expected and push your skills and thinking prowess – can be used in every aspect of your life. When you have the ability to look at situations or a problem in many different ways, you can more easily solve problems.
2. Your coordination and motor skills improve. Older adults who participate in art therapy are directed to focus on a single task at a time, whether that’s drawing, painting, sculpting, knitting or something else. These light physical activities may not seem taxing or like a form of exercise, but studies have shown that they can increase blood flow to the hands, which improves coordination and dexterity. It’s also been shown that art therapy can help older adults with joint conditions like arthritis, and also assists in decreasing inflammation and chronic pain.
3. You create and connect with a community. The act of creating something together, whether participating in individual projects or on one big project, builds bonds. Think of the old time “barn raisings" where a community would come together to literally and figuratively build up their town. In today’s world, art classes like ArtPATH and other art therapies take place in a social environment with other participants. Group activities naturally encourage the participants to socialize with the others around them, whether it’s commenting on technique, subject matter or simply striking up a conversation. It’s a great way to build acquaintances that can become lifelong friendships.
4. Your cognitive abilities are stimulated. Staying mentally engaged and interested is key for aging well and maintaining full-body wellness. Older adults who engage in artistic endeavors are shown to be more mentally alert and have lower risks of memory issues like dementia. An activity like painting uses many different senses and stimulates many parts of the brain at once. People who involve themselves in the arts are also curious and active in their pursuit of engagement, which keeps brains nimble.
5. Your stress will be reduced, and your mental health will improve. Art is a therapy for a reason. For millennia, art has been a way for humans to express thoughts, emotions, opinions and many other things. In recent studies, art therapy has been shown to lessen feelings of stress, depression and anxiety in all ages, but especially in older adults. Simply the act of putting pen or paintbrush to paper helps older adults relax, focus on positive feelings and feel more fulfilled. Reducing stress improves mental health, which leads to better physical health outcomes overall.
It’s Never Too Late
Ready to start reaping the benefits of arts and creativity for yourself? “It’s never too late,” says Terri. “Today is always a great day to start something that will enrich and inspire your life,” she says. “The most important thing is to turn off the little voice in our head that says we can’t do this and instead tell yourself you can. By opening yourself up to the possibility, you’ll be amazed at the things you’ll create – and how good you’ll feel doing it.”
For more information about our innovative new community, please contact us at 708-365-8593.
Live Well. Age Well. Be Well. At Aspired Living® of La Grange.
When you step through the doors of our Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Support community, you’ll notice ... something different. Something exciting. Something exceptional! At Aspired Living® of La Grange, we believe that moving to senior living is something that should be supported and celebrated.
Wellness is at the heart of everything we do at Aspired Living® of La Grange. From Award-Winning VIVA!SM Programming by Pathway to Living® that inspires each resident to live engaged, connected and fulfilled lives to VIVA! Plus, which brings coordinated healthcare right to their apartments, we do all we can to ensure that our residents Live Well. Age Well. Be Well!
Every day is a new opportunity to grow, laugh, share, learn and thrive. Gather with friends for delicious, nutritious meals in our all-day dining room, or enjoy a lively happy hour in our wine bar. Relax with a massage or spa treatment in our spa and salon. Stay fit and healthy with our fitness center or spend the day painting in our art studio. It’s all up to you!
Offering a lifestyle designed to inspire the whole person, Aspired Living of La Grange provides seniors with the best of both worlds – the exceptional care they require and the inspiring senior living experience they deserve.
To learn more about our community or to reserve your apartment, contact us at 708-365-8593.