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Friday, September 14, 2012

Creative Ageing

Successful and Creative Aging
            As the Boomers join us in making way toward living during later life, the ideas of successful aging have increasing value. “Current literature…suggests that functional performance and creativity are important in order to age successfully.”  There is a growing body of research on the topic but there isn’t very much statistically significant information about how to facilitate it.
            One study examined the relationships between functional performance, creativity, and successful aging within the context of the Roy Adaptation Model. In it there are “…some statistically significant results and valuable findings about the possibilities for creativity enhancement.” Below is an interesting project that illustrates the value of creativity to a special group of seniors with dementia

Alzheimer’s Poetry Project:  Santa Fe, New Mexico 2
            The Alzheimer's Poetry Project (APP) involves people with dementia in poetry programs that include poetry readings and helping participants express their feelings through poetry. The goal of the Poetry Project is to enhance the quality of life for people with memory loss, their families and health care workers who serve them. 
            The program finds that even in the late stages of the disease, reciting poetry helps to spark people’s memories, remembering words and lines from poems and stories of their youth.   Fifteen professional poets, who receive training on working with the targeted population, work with APP to conduct programs in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Washington, DC. 
             Also, APP has convened training sessions for over 200 professional healthcare workers and twenty high school students to encourage and assist poetry programming for people with dementia.  In 2005, APP and the Poem Factory published “Sparking Memories:  The Alzheimer’s Poetry Project Anthology” that is a collection of well-known and loved poems.
            Take a look and let me know what you think 

1. (Psych INFO Database Record © 2010 APA, all right reserved
2. Google Alzheimer’s Poetry Project for more information

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