Notes Along the Way
and Fitness Can Improve Your Brain
Over the years, I have taught art to students at every age
level from pre-school to older adults. I love witnessing their creativity and
excitement over their accomplishments. I especially like seeing the joy that
art brings into their lives.
For older people, creativity provides a goal, a reason to get up in the morning
and go out to an art class or head to an easel or art wall inside their own
homes. The creative activity can take the form of painting, sculpture, pottery,
jewelry and more. Crocheting and knitting are art-crafting endeavors enjoyed by
people of all ages, especially older ones. Some studies show that crafting
provides a large benefit but not quite as much as painting.
My mother loved to crochet. She would sit for hours crocheting colorful pieces
that she later put together in afghans to give as gifts. Although she did not
grow up in a time when physical fitness was stressed as it now is, she kept her
brain healthy with the bright strands of yarn dancing on her needle.
A recent article by Leslie Mann, Tribune Newspapers, describes studies that
show the value of doing artwork for people in "their middle and old
ages". One Mayo Clinic study found that those who created art during those
later years were "73 percent less likely to develop MCI (Mild Cognitive
Impairment)". (MCI is a problem that can lead to dementia.)
Because people are living longer, the 85-plus age is a fast-growing population
segment. It's a group of people who can be inspired because of creative
potential or they can be led into depression by those who do not understand
their needs for purpose in life.
people are encouraged to take more art classes and more art workshops, I
believe they will be happier. They will have less reason for depression. They
will need fewer drugs.
My Upcoming Artist
Georgia O'Keeffe October 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Williamsburg Center for Contemporary Art, 219 North Boundary Street - Williamsburg, VA –
Texture and Design" October 29 and 30 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mathews Bay School Community Arts Center - 279 Main St, Mathews,
VA 23109 (804) 725-1278