As the seasons change and leaves take on vibrant hues of red, yellow, and orange we are reminded that much like an artist, we can craft our lives in beautiful ways, and what better time to celebrate that reminder with our senior residents than during Active Aging Week? Active Aging Week, celebrated annually, shines a light on the importance of maintaining an active and engaged lifestyle as we age. This year, at NIFS, we’ve decided to focus on “aging artfully” and help the residents in the communities that we partner with age well through embracing their creativity.
As fitness professionals, we are sometimes met with surprise when we step outside of the fitness center and run programs that are more wellness and activity based, but across the country we have a team full of passionate and creative staff, and together we focus on total person health and wellness. We know that aging doesn’t mean there has to be a decline in quality of life, but instead provides opportunities to explore new passions, hobbies, and forms of self-expression. As we hold offerings to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being this week we will also be emphasizing the role of art and creativity in active aging and bringing light to some of the benefits that come with them:
- Social Interaction: We know that not all residents in our communities are fitness buffs, so offering programs that are outside of the box gives us the ability to connect with a new group of residents and ease them into participating in other wellness programs and events. For all, joining in on creative groups and classes combats loneliness and isolation and helps to foster social connections while nurturing creativity.
- Mental Stimulation: Engaging in creative activities and trying new things stimulates and enhances cognitive function and memory while keeping your mind active.
- Emotional Well-being: Increased happiness, a sense of accomplishment, and stress reduction are all biproducts of creative expression thanks to an outlet for emotions. Participating in creative programs can help reduce stress, improve mood, and provide an avenue for processing emotions and memories.
- Self-Discovery: Exploring your creative side can help you to better understand your interests, and help you find new hobbies and passions. It’s never too late to learn an instrument, try your hand at painting, or share your wisdom. Your creative work can also become a meaningful legacy!
Some of the programs that our staff have planned for this active aging week include classes in various mediums of art, music, dance, writing, expressive exercise classes paired with music or art, outdoor exercise in nature, active adventures, upcycling projects, collaborative offerings with other departments including food and beverage, activities, physical therapy, and so much more.
Artful aging is about staying engaged in the world around us, embracing creativity and living with intention. Celebrate Active Aging Week with us by embracing the art of aging well.