Getting involved in the arts is good for older people’s physical health and well-being, new research has found. In fact it’s so good that doctors in Sydney are now prescribing art classes instead of medication as an antidote to stress, anxiety, bereavement and even chronic pain.
Small regular classes where people can explore a variety of art forms from drama and dance, music and mosaics, poetry and painting offer people the chance to improve their concentration and physical fitness. Then there’s the psychological benefits of learning new skills, building confidence and enjoying the company and stimulation of new friends.
Initially, Tony was doubtful and not sure what to expect.
When the doctor first mentioned it to me I had a lot of doubts… [but] it’s great, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
For Dorothy, a recent widow, the art clases brought her out of herself.
This program has brought me back to life again. It has helped me get over my grief and loneliness. Socially, it was marvellous. It has released me to be me.
Read more about how doctors are prescribing art to promote active and healthy ageing here.