Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Geropsychology

pp 1-5

Date: Latest Version

Creative Aging: Drawing on the Arts to Enhance Healthy Aging


The term “creative aging,” in the broadest sense, describes an aging policy idea that focuses on highlighting the creativity of older adults in order to prepare individuals and communities to manage old age. Programs focus on the evolution of creativity over the lifespan and aim to provide meaningful participatory engagement, especially through the arts.

A General History of the Creative Aging Movement and Best Practices

The history of professionally led creative aging programs may be traced back to the origins of the constructs of successful aging and healthy aging. These gerontological concepts were developed in the 1960s in opposition to the prevailing construct at that time, namely disengagement theory. At the same time, aging interest groups emerged which promoted cultural and lifestyle issues for older adults.

Some of the well-known creative aging programs started in the 1970s in the United States (USA) with combining art and activities for older adults. These programs we ...

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