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The Arts and You: A Partnership in Healthy Aging

It is not in life, but in art that self-fulfillment is to be found. — Wilson Mizner

In every stage of life and development, there is passion for art. When young children first scribble on a sheet of paper, up it goes on the fridge. Young adults may pursue their creativity through dance, visual arts, writing, and music. Parents instill this appreciation for expressing imagination in their children. But what about arts and aging? What many people may not realize is that creative expression can be a significant factor for healthy aging and beneficial for independent living in Chapel Hill.

The Experts Weigh in.

 More and more studies show how continuing to enjoy artistic expression can help promote a healthy lifestyle for older individuals. The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Institute on Aging have both established programs to encourage everything from painting and drawing to storytelling, poetry, and quilting. More and more programs like the Music and Memory Project and EngAGE are providing programs around the country to advance the art education for seniors. Across the nation, the older generation is participating in workshops, art colonies, and continuing education to learn new ways to create or to hone skills that have been developed over a lifetime.

What are the Benefits?

 Artistic expression does more than just stimulate the imagination or provide a creative outlet. Physical, mental, and emotional health are all improved through the pursuit of arts and aging. Some of the positive effects include:

  • Maintaining long-term memory
  • Strengthening neurological responses
  • Improving balance and mobility
  • Preserving fine and gross motor skills
  • Decreasing agitation and depressive symptoms
  • Relieving stress hormones

Imagine fewer doctors’ appointments or even less medication because of frequent and regular participation in art. That would make even an inexperienced person pick up a pencil or paintbrush and give it a try.

Sharing is Caring

 An often overlooked aspect of arts and aging is the opportunity for social interaction. Many people may think that drawing, painting, or writing is an individual pursuit, but the reality is that workshops and classes are another excellent chance to meet people and share experiences. Joining a choir or band, signing up for adult dance classes, or auditing a painting seminar at a local college would all allow for collective engagement in shared interests.

Keep it Going

 If you are interested in independent living in Chapel Hill, you can find opportunities for creative expression at Galloway Ridge. Our community amenities include an arts and crafts studio as well as a woodworking studio in addition to access to community and recreational clubs at Fearrington Village. With our convenient location to the universities of the Research Triangle and museums in the area, our residents can attend cultural events as often as they like in addition to making their own art. For more information on how Galloway Ridge promotes the arts and aging, please click here.