What does it mean to live an “artful life?” Simply put, it means a life that is filled with art – the art you consume, the art you create, the art you share. It’s about appreciating and creating art for its own sake, without thought to gaining fame or fortune or anything other than leaving the world a little better than you found it.
“The arts attract us all, no matter how young or old we are,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “There is a drive in every person to create things of beauty that stem from our emotions, feelings, imagination or visions. This is something that nourishes us throughout our whole lives, helping us to be well-rounded individuals. The arts teach us to communicate, help us broaden our minds, connect us to one another and improve our quality of life in many, many ways.”
There is extensive evidence that art and artistic expression can benefit the lives of seniors in incredible ways. Throughout history, creating art has been therapeutic for both the creator of the work and those who participate in or view it. This knowledge has helped to shape the philosophies and best practices of today’s art therapies, music therapies and other forms of self-expression used to enhance lives across the world.
Next Avenue, a research-focused art blog, wrote in one of their studies that “the most compelling evidence of the value of the arts revolves around improving the lives of older adults.” For residents at The Reutlinger Community – and for all other senior individuals – there is substantial proof that participating in artistic forms like drawing, painting, dancing or writing can help to maintain health, quality of life and fulfillment for older adults.
How Does an Artful Life Benefit Seniors?
Although the therapeutic benefit of the arts has been studied extensively, the study of aging and the arts is still fairly new. Still, there are many anecdotal tales of seniors who experience better moods, become more social and have a greater sense of self-worth after participating in an art program.
“Knowing everything we do about how to age successfully, it’s no surprise that the arts and an artful life are a benefit to seniors,” says Andrea. “We’ve seen that having a purpose, participating in an activity they enjoy, being social and connecting with people helps seniors stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally, all of which are integral to a fulfilled life.”
Don’t believe us? Here are some of the things that have been discovered about the arts and aging well:
- Dancing helps boost motor skills and cognition.
- Singing can improve mental health and self-esteem.
- Participating in the arts increases one’s psychological health and social engagement.
- Playing a musical instrument can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Seniors report feeling a stronger sense of identity after creating a piece of art.
- Practicing some form of art helps individuals gain a sense of control.
- Seniors report reduced boredom, better mental function and more happiness when they participate in an artful life.
Discovering an Artful Life at The Reutlinger Community
The Reutlinger Community’s award-winning Art Program, “Discovering the Artist Within,” offers our residents an opportunity to create art within an encouraging, inspiring atmosphere. Betty Rothaus, our full-time Artist-in-Residence, offers residents individual guidance in bringing their unique visions to life.
“In our beautiful fine arts studio, our residents are able to express themselves through a variety of mediums, including sculpting, throwing pottery, working with jewelry or textiles, painting and so much more,” says Andrea. “Residents who’ve never picked up a paintbrush before work side-by-side with experienced artists to learn new skills, express themselves and simply have fun creating.”
Within a beautiful fine arts studio, residents who have never created art before, as well as experienced artists, enjoy learning new skills and expressing themselves through drawing, painting in oil, acrylic, pastels or watercolor, sculpting/pottery in clay, collage, textiles, jewelry and/or mixed media. Each year, The Reutlinger Community hosts a variety of exhibitions showcasing the residents’ work, which are then printed into a yearly calendar.
“Our award-winning program has been heralded as one of the most outstanding Art Programs in the country,” says Andrea. “Most importantly to us, though, is that so many of our residents have found purpose, happiness and passion through our program, providing them an outlet to let their imaginations soar.”
For more information about artful living, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.
Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care
The Reutlinger Community’s mission is to provide high quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.
Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s renovated, 110,000-square-foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any senior’s needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.
Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.
At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.
For more information or to schedule a personal tour contact us today.