Photo credit: CreativeAging.org
Involvement in challenging participatory arts programs has a positive effect on physical health, mental health, and social functioning in older adults, regardless of their ability.
Even attending arts events is linked to better health outcomes. The arts can improve bonds between caregivers and their patients, deepen connections between staff working in clinical settings (and thus enhance the patient experience), and give family members a new way to reach out to an older person suffering from dementia and other conditions.
Grantmakers can foster the incorporation of the arts into health and wellness efforts in numerous ways. Art programs not only enrich the lives of older adults who may no longer have the ability to seek out arts and culture on their own, but also benefit health care professionals, families, and caregivers. Here are a handful of efforts worth emulating: