Pennsylvania Department of Aging Acting Secretary Robert Torres and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Executive Director Karl Blischke recently visited the Senior Adult Club’s Artist Residency Program at the Jewish Community Center in Harrisburg to sit in on a professionally instructed art class with local seniors.
The program was developed by the Department of Aging and the PCA’s Creative Aging partnership for a research project, which ultimately found that seniors reported decreased instances of loneliness after participating in the classes.
Creative Aging’s purpose is to engage older adults age 55 and up in professionally run art programs that focus on social engagement and varying skills mastery. This provides older adults with an opportunity to freely and creatively express themselves through visual, literary, and performing arts workshops.
“This class is a wonderful example of the ability of the arts to engage older adults in experiences that can enrich their lives and bring them together,” said Blischke.
Studies show the benefits of arts engagement for seniors include fewer doctor visits and hospital stays, less use of medication, better morale and decrease in feelings of loneliness and isolation, and a trend toward increased activity.