Creation is a natural deep-seeded drive that we all have. Women have children and it's been said that we build cities because they can’t.
The drive to create is so powerful that the DIY (Do it yourself) industry has boomed in the last 15 years and the hobby market is not far behind. Cooking has even gotten into the game by throwing away the cookbook and going more Iron Chef.
How this does translates into senior living? In some very old school ways that are deceptively simple but highly effective. Cooking classes and fine art studios are back and stronger than ever before.
Upon a recent tour in Mobile, Alabama, I was surprised at the high quality of artwork that a senior housing watercolor class produced. An outside artist was brought in to lead the class instead of an activities director.
Later that week they took part in a cooking class (again with an outside chef). The leverage of bringing outside experts in to lead seniors in creative work sets the tone for the quality of living. Engagement is very high, and pride in completed works of art were apparent on the faces of each student (senior).
Rotating local artists work is displayed on the main floor, with shows by residents, a couple times a year. The staff was extremely proud of the artwork the residents produce which creates an additional benefit that is not typical in senior living. When we can respect a senior for their present, the atmosphere in the home changes. It becomes magnetic with positive energy.
While I have seen wonderful art, cooking and gardening programs in senior living before, there is always one thing they have in common ……….The home is full!