Arts & Culture ... and aging

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Art after 50: Explore the benefits

Arts participation is proven to increase the health and well-being of older adults and others in a variety of ways. Below is a review of the benefits of creative expression and artistic engagement after age 50.


Benefits of arts participation for cognitively fit older adults

Playing musical instruments and dancing are associated with a lower risk of dementia

Improves flexibility, coordination, balance, and endurance

Significantly decreases levels of boredom, loneliness, and feelings of helplessness for participants in folk art activities

Decrease in anxiety, depression, and perception of loneliness

Increase in levels of  hGH (hGH is implicated in such aging phenomena as osteoporosis, energy levels, wrinkling, sexual function, muscle mass, and aches and pains)


Benefits of arts participation for the community

Develops sense of communal identity

Promotes social bonding

Enables communication across generations, income, abilities, and cultures

Contributes to preserving or restoring social capital

Encourages civic engagement

Lowers risk of the need for long-term care


Benefits of arts participation for caregivers

Increases number of meaningful interactions between staff and residents

Improves staff attitudes toward patients

Improves communication between caregivers and those in their care

Provides respite to caregivers

Increases family interactions in home and community settings


Benefits of arts participation for people with Alzheimer’s & related dementias

Staff see the self still present and growing in patients with dementia

Improves communication between staff and patients by giving them the opportunity to work together without the need for “correction”

Contributes to sense of well-being on an individual level

Significant increase in quality-of-life measures for up to six weeks after seeing a live performance

Decrease in harmful behaviors and reduced agitation