According to Dr. Dean Sherzai, a behavioral neurologist and director of the Alzheimer's prevention program at Loma Linda University, creativity is essential, especially for the aging brain. "Nothing is as pleasant as new emotional perspectives and thought experiences, and nothing provokes the neurons to connect more than the creative space in the brain," he says. "When people have a so-called cognitive reserve, which is an excessive connectivity of parts of the brain with other parts of the brain, meaning that the brain is well connected by these billions of axons between neurons, it can even be the pathology of the disease of Resist Alzheimer's. "  Creativity and health
It is generally accepted that creativity is one of the best ways to promote neuron connectivity, which supports brain health, and subsequent research into creativity has changed the way we look at aging .
The Creativity and Aging Study, which investigated the impact of creativity on overall health, discovered that participants in community-based art programs reported better health, fewer doctor visits and less medication. They also showed better signs of mental health, greater involvement in general activities, and maintained their independence. The study concluded that "community-based cultural programs & # 39; s for the elderly seem to reduce risk factors that promote the need for long-term care."
Give yourself permission to explore
But what about those who don't consider themselves creatively inclined? Author and chaplain Larry S. Glover, who has published a series of children's books, suggests keeping your doors open. "Keep exploring and stay creative," he says. "Find your passions in life, think outside the box and remove the limits from yourself."
Journalist Mike Ulmer says that we limit our creativity too often. He suggests giving yourself permission to explore a new creative outlet. "Everyone can be creative, and although not everyone can be Steinbeck, he can enable you to find your way," he says. During his retirement, Ulmer investigated his creativity with an entrepreneurial lens and launched the Forever Book Company, in which he collaborates with older adults to tell their life story. "We pass on money between generations, but no stories or values," says Ulmer. He hopes to change that.
So what's your story? Whether you write, paint or build; create out of necessity, curiosity or boredom, choose a creative outlet that brings you joy. "To see a project in my mind, I actually start the work and then I can hold a finished product in my hand ̵
Where you can explore your creative side
Finding new ways to explore your creative side – and meeting new people – is like being close to your local Senior Planet Center. In Denver we currently have an art exhibition of five artists who are all Senior Planet Members. In December, members in San Antonio are encouraged to show their creative flair with an Ugly Sweater Takeover Party. In Palo Alto, Judith Kramer, a member of the Senior Planet, will share her love for photography; in upstate New York, two members share – and teach – their love of line dancing (read more about it here) and in New York City a Member Fashion Show earned rave reviews and news from PBS – just look!