Published on October 20, 2016

Exercise your creativity

Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until her 70s.

Duke Ellington kept making music until he was 75.

James Earl Jones still lights up the screen at 85.

Clearly, creativity doesn’t have to stop just because we’ve gotten older.

Seniors PaintingIn fact, trying something new—and creative—is especially important as we add years. “It helps us stay vibrant and engaged,” says Elizabeth Johnson, CTRS, a recreation therapy supervisor at the Mercy LIFE North Hancock Center.

An eye-catching example of creativity is on display at the North Hancock Center. It’s a mural that showcases the many activities available at the center—from dancing to dominoes—that enrich the participants’ lives.

It took six months to create and more than 100 artists, all of them center participants and staff. Together, they hand-painted—and brought to life—a giant collage created by the center’s occupational therapist, Sara Brown del Pozo, MS, OTR/L, a gifted artist.

“It’s our first big group project,” Johnson says. “We wanted to let everybody tap into their creativity.”

The mural’s title, Life Is an Open Book, is a reminder that all of us can add new chapters and interests in our lives at any age.

Just try it!

To explore your creative side, you might:

  • Sign up for a class, maybe photography or pottery. 
  • Make up a new recipe, and share it with friends. 
  • Keep a journal, or try writing a poem.
  • Create a collage about a decade of your life.
  • Start a sketchbook and draw for enjoyment. Don’t worry about the end result!