Learning and participating in creative arts activities in retirement communities, like Heritage Commons, keeps residents active and healthy. When older adults learn new creative skills, they look forward to more and more learning. All of this creativity is the basis of remaining healthy. Here are some ways that older adults are learning new creative skills in retirement communities:
- Art Classes - Learning to draw, paint, make a collage, scrapbook, or make jewelry can be very fun for older adults. With just a few art supplies, residents in retirement communities can learn to design and complete many creative projects. Art classes can be repeated for weeks and months, and participants and can create many totally different projects while they are learning how to handle different art materials.
- Dance Classes - Dancing is a great movement activity that older adults can really enjoy. Dances can range from traditional folk art dances to the latest hip-hop dances. All dancing can be a fun and meaningful way to express oneself. Older adults who are not mobile can still participate by clapping and playing tambourines and other percussion instruments.
- Language Classes - Learning a new language can improve an older adult's outlook on life, memory, grammar, and vocabulary. Even a rudimentary understanding of a new language can help older adults to understand a second language. New language skills can be reinforced when residents practice their new words with each other.
- Literature Classes - Reading a book and discussing it with other residents is a great pastime for older adults. People can interpret stories differently from others, and a group discussion can help everyone to have a wider view of a common story. Books can include literary classics to new books on the best seller list. All stories can open the reader to new ways to view life.
- Music Appreciation Classes - Listening to different kinds of music can be a truly enjoyable way to grow and learn. Music can be familiar or completely new. Participants can learn the different rhythms, lyrics, and history of the songs and compositions in the classes. There is ample world music available to teach many different music appreciation classes without repetition.
- Writing Classes - Older adults in retirement communities can take a creative writing class to guide them in telling their own stories. A creative writing teacher can give participants examples of classic stories in literature and then help participants to find their own creative voices. Volunteers can help participants to write their stories in a book or on a notebook computer. Residents in retirement communities truly enjoy writing their own stories as it is a way to reminisce and remember their younger days.
Once the creative juices start flowing, older adults look forward to taking more creative arts classes. This is the way to foster hope and build confidence. All of this creativity is great for morale as shared experiences bring about comfort and camaraderie with all participants.