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More Evidence for the Power of Creative Aging

Category: Alliance Blog
Pairs of older adults dance in an outdoor park.
A new report cites evidence that engaging with the arts improves the aging process; for instance, dancing can reduce the risk of falls and improve mobility. Photo credit: Ruth Hartnup on Flickr.

One of the most fruitful areas of the creative aging movement is the one that explores the arts and aging. The evidence for the positive effects of arts on wellbeing is mounting rapidly and to such a degree that it has spawned a new practice known as “social prescribing.” That is, medical practitioners both here and abroad are increasingly prescribing visits to museums, cultural centers, and heritage environments as a health measure. Here, thanks to a report from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, is more evidence supporting that connection, specifically for adults over fifty.

The report outlines the research that “For adults over 50, arts and culture can dramatically reduce the risk of developing depression, decrease the possibility of dementia through volunteer engagement and improve mental and emotional processing power.” It ties specific activities to outcomes; like dancing and a decreased risk of falls, or museum attendance and decreased social isolation.

I highly recommend that you read the full report, which not only details such evidence but also inspires us to think of ways to create, promote, and potentially fund our own creative aging programs throughout America’s museums and cultural institutions. My thanks to Aroha Philanthropies for passing it along.

Our congratulations go to the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and to AARP Philadelphia for sponsoring this landmark effort.

Engagement in the arts and cultural sector serves as a tangible asset to wellbeing and creative aging!

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