The day we stop learning and trying new things, is the day we surely stop living. Creativity is a wonderful way to express your feelings and try something new. Your elders may be at the age when they no longer fear failing when trying a new activity. What has your elder always wanted to try? Find out and encourage them!
The experts are finding that artistic endeavors are good for older folks. There are a number of organizations that bring art and elders together with astonishing results. Even seniors with advanced dementia are finding joy in admiring art, as well as trying their hand at painting, sketching and other artistic activities. One new organization is called Artists for Alzheimer's - ARTZ (http://www.artistsforalzheimers.org/). Volunteers borrow paintings and other art forms from the artists and bring them to assisting living communities and even into private homes to enrich the lives of those suffering from dementia. Tours of art galleries and museums are scheduled for elders and their caregivers. New chapters are emerging across the nation.
Creativity is not limited to painting and drawing. Working with clay, knitting, crocheting, and even quilting can be a way to express one's self. Flower arranging, creative writing and legacy writing is another way to try something new. Sharing the experience just adds to the fun and you'll be surprise at how participating in a new activity can bring you closer to your loved one.
I participated at a local assisted living community while the residents tried their hand at water colors. It was amazing to see how novice "artists" mixed their colors with wild abandonment. Some were hesitant at first, but as the colors began to fill their page, they became more intense on making their masterpieces unique. The added benefit was sharing the experience and talking about how to mix the colors to bring the painting to life.
What artistic activity have you always wanted to try? Many towns and cities have classes you can take from the recreation departments and senior centers. Try one together with your elder and you both be inspired to reach for the stars!