Partners for Livable Communities (Partners) releases, “Arts Organizations and Public Health,” a guide to creating partnerships between art and health organizations. This primer was designed for the arts organization that wishes to initiate programming focused on local health issues, or create partnerships with health groups in order to best meet the needs of the community. Arts Organizations and Public Health identifies best practices of diverse arts organizations from around the United States to inform this work. The best practices can be used as references, and are cited throughout the publication to correlate with text.
The New York Times’ John Leland reports:
“New York’s nursing homes have long been chronically understaffed, leaving family members to fill critical gaps, from feeding their relatives to checking for bedsores or infection. Now those family members are barred from entry, and existing workers are getting sick, quarantined or quitting because the work has become too dangerous.”
From Anne’s website:
“A MacArthur Genius Grant recipient pioneers a radical change in how we interact with older loved ones, especially those experiencing dementia, as she introduces a proven method that uses the creative arts to bring light and joy to the lives of elders.”
The number of older adults is rapidly increasing throughout the world. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the number of adults over age 65 in the U.S. will almost double by 2030. There is a pressing need to develop novel, sustainable, and cost-effective approaches for promoting health and well-being among elders residing in our communities. Although not yet widely recognized, community arts programs may be a unique approach to achieving those ends. Choral singing is a practical activity that can be easily translated into many community settings. A 2009 Chorus America study reported that choral singing is the most popular arts hobby in the U.S. – 32.5 million adults regularly sing. Choral programs can also be offered at relatively low cost and can provide opportunities for cultural expression.
Engaging in creative activities can be powerful medicine for aging challenges
The preservation of skeletal muscle mass and strength with advancing age are critical aspects of ageing with health and vitality. Physical inactivity and poor nutrition are known to accelerate the gradual age-related decline in muscle mass and strength-sarcopenia-however, both are subject to modification. The main purpose of this review is to present the latest, evidence-based recommendations for physical activity and exercise, as well as diet for older adults that would help in preserving muscle mass and strength.
This is the research study conducted by UCSF which examined the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial impacts of choir members 60+. Researchers discovered that older adults who sang in a choir for 6 months experienced significant improvements in loneliness and interest in life. However, they experienced no changes in cognition or physical function.
Review of literature that explores the relationship between engagement with the creative arts and health outcomes, specifically the health effects of music engagement, visual arts therapy, movement-based creative expression, and expressive writing. The authors’ goal is to “establish a foundation for continued investigation into this subject and to generate further interest in researching the complexities of engagment with the arts and health.
Summary of a 3 year study by cognitive neurosurgeons from 7 universities throughout the US which focused on the connections between high cognitive levels and training in the arts. Separate monographs carried out by different teams of scientists explored how arts training in dance, musical skills, etc, influence cognition. Although the study was not specifically focused on older adults, the findings have implications for older adult teaching and learning in the arts.
From Grantmakers in the Arts: “In this article, we describe the Community of Voices program, a cross-sector approach to a high-quality, culturally responsive, older-adult choir program designed to help reduce loneliness and increase interest in life for older adults. We also share resources for those interested in learning more about developing community choirs.