Art should play an important part in your life no matter what your age, but it is particularly beneficial if you are a senior citizen. Producing art has a positive effect on your well-being. It enriches your emotional life, and also has proven physical and mental benefits. In fact, art is being used increasingly as a form of therapy for seniors because of the benefits it brings.
The first thing to understand is that art is about satisfying yourself – you shouldnt feel self-conscious if what you produce isn’t good enough to show others. Not all of us can produce artwork of the quality of Stephen Dent projects, but we can all produce art that speaks to our own soul. Art also offers the opportunity for continuing personal development, which is incredibly important as we get older – too many seniors lose interest as they age, and don’t enjoy life to its fullest because of this.
Aside from its deeply satisfying spiritual quality, art helps to keep your mind active and engaged. This is essential – in fact, studies have shown that maintaining high levels of mental activity may help to fight off degenerative mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is associated with the buildup of beta-amyloid protein deposits in the brain, and recent research shows that engaging in activities that keep your mind active reduces the amount of beta amyloid that accumulates. While it has not been proven that beta amyloid causes Alzheimer’s disease, the fact that mental activity wards off Alzheimer’s shows that the relationship is probably very strong.
Of course, the majority of us don’t develop Alzheimer’s disease – although it is an increasing problem. However, getting involved in art has mental benefits for everyone as they grow older – not just Alzheimer’s patients. Often, we find it more difficult to deal with everyday life as we age – we are still able to cope perfectly well, but life seems much more stressful. This in turn has a bad effect on our bodies – for instance, it makes us more susceptible to diseases such as strokes and cancer. When you are creating art, you are totally absorbed in what you are doing and don’t have time to think about anything else. As a result, you become far less stressed – and that effect continues on even after you have stopped working on your art.
Remember that art takes many different forms – you can still take up art even if you don’t like drawing or painting. For example, you may enjoy needlework – this is actually a great way of keeping your dexterity as you get older. Music is also art – it’s never too late to take up the piano or the guitar. There are even forms of art that can help you to stay fit – if you have been active all your life, then consider taking up dance. The point is that you need to find your own method of artistic expression – and when you do, you will start to reap the benefits.