The healing power of beauty through artistic expression in the elderly

Fran DobinLearning, creativity, and self-expression are joys that can be pursued throughout a lifetime. Although aging may place some limitations on these pursuits, an assisted living community that provides the opportunity and guidance for creativity can truly enrich the aging experience.

Instructional programs in music, dance, poetry, writing, and art give participants broadened opportunities for socialization with their fellow residents. Communication increases, and support is shared.

Consider the benefits of a fine arts program, which taps into the innate human need for creativity and self-expression. Making art can give the elderly an additional “visual voice” through which to communicate, especially if they are memory impaired. Watching something grow and develop brings hope and focus on life.  The fundamentals of art – color, light, shape – are the words of that voice that the senior artist can use to share the uniqueness of who they are and their abundance of experiences.

The need for self-expression does not diminish with age. Encouraging the elderly to share the richness of their lives through art brings insight and joy to both the artist and to those who love them.

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