Jules Renard said “It’s not how old you are, it’s how you are old.”
Research has shown that aging causes changes to the brain, in size, volume and weight and this begins after the age of 40. Hearing loss is a factor in speeding up cognitive aging. The most widely seen cognitive change is that of memory.
People are having less children today and the elderly are living longer, creating a shift in the population. How do we engage this population and how can they continue to contribute to society?
The National Center for Creative Aging conference was recently held in Washington D.C and the theme was “Global Perspective on Creativity and Aging.” Being creative at any age is good for the brain, but for the elderly there are many rewarding benefits. The top researchers have learned that engaging older adults lowers the rate of loneliness and depression. In addition, morale is higher and improved hand dexterity. People are generally social in nature and having limited social engagement can make one feel isolated.
“Experts from around the world spoke about how creative endeavors – storytelling and singing, weaving and dancing and painting and poetry – make people’s lives better as they grow older and deal with challenges of aging.” Nina Karus who runs the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory stated, “If you have played music throughout your life, you have a brain that looks biologically younger.” Not only listen to music. Participate in music.
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