Cincinnati Nonprofit Spotlight: Creative Aging
On any given day, seniors throughout our region are singing, laughing, moving, creating, remembering, sharing, and strengthening motor skills because of more than 100 professional artists, performers and educators who are contracted through a unique Cincinnati area nonprofit organization called Creative Aging.
In 2014, the organization sponsored closed to 400 programs (this year anticipating 500 to 600 programs) at member facilities serving more than 15,000 older adults. Since its beginning more than 30 years ago, Creative Aging has provide well over 6,800 programs and enriched the lives of over 294,000 seniors.
That is a lot of IMPACT!
Bev Ross, executive director, told me a lot of what they do is in a group setting. “It is magical in how our programs reconnect people and their environment,” she said, remembering, “There was a man who had Parkinson’s Disease whose movements were real choppy but he could dance with you without any problems. A lot of times our performers would sound out a beat for him. He would walk better when there was a rhythm to it.”
Just a sample of the types of programs Creative Aging offers:
Art programs like painting and drawing, seashell crafts, and color and shape exploration.
History and culture programs that take people on virtual tours using a “memories” theme to show both “old” and current pictures of historic and memorable Cincinnati landmarks as well as a narrative that highlights the history and current use of the site.
Music programs with a variety of artists, vocalists and instruments.
Storytelling, outreach programs, and holiday happenings.
Wellness programs including yoga, ballet, tai chi and more.
“Seniors think they can’t do it but they are really proud of what they accomplish. If they have depression, for the hour that we are there, they forget about it and just enjoy the moment,” said Bev.
I have seen firsthand how interactive, creative and educational programs enrich the lives of older adults. What a wonderful gift from all of these artists!