In it’s most basic concept, Creative Aging takes an opposing view of the roll of the aging population in it’s participation in the arts from one of passive observer to one in which they actively participate in all aspects of the arts.
Over the past two decades, evidence-based research has established the vital efficacy and positive impact of creative arts and humanities interventions on individual and community populations. Demonstrated results include improved health, higher quality of care, and enhanced quality of life across the spectrum of aging. These interventions have proven effective by mitigating long-term depression and anxiety related to chronic conditions, enhancing quality of life, and generating quality moments throughout the day while reducing healthcare costs, increasing caregiver resilience, and strengthening networks of care. In short, these interventions contribute to experiences of a quality day for both caregivers, their caregiving partners, and the health and wellness systems that support them. A challenge has been, and continues to be, providing easy, affordable access to best practice creative arts and humanities interventions to caregivers and their loved ones.
A clear and urgent need exists for effective interventions serving older adults living with Alzheimer’s and related cognitive disorders alongside those who provide their care. The fastest growing percentage of the US population is older adults over the age of 85 with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day. More than 4.5 million Americans live with dementia – and the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease alone doubles with each five-year interval after the age of 65. As the population continues to age, the number of caregivers for older adults with Alzheimer’s is expected to rise rapidly, with enormous emotional, physical, and financial challenges placed upon spouses, relatives, and friends.