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Promote Creativity and Innovation Among Elder Adults

Wong Shu Lee  


  April 21, 2022

There may be no universal understanding of creativity. The concept is open to interpretation from artistic expression to problem-solving in the context of economic, social, and sustainable development. Therefore, the United Nations designated 21 April as World Creativity and Innovation Day to raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development.


When talking about creativity and innovation, we often come in from the angle of businesses or child development. Today, let’s discuss this topic from another perspective. Do you know? Creativity may be key to healthy aging. 


If you’re interested in staying healthy as you age — and living longer — you might want to add a different set of muscles to your workout routine: your creative ones. Ongoing research suggests that creativity may be key to healthy aging. Studies show that participating in activities such as singing, theater performance, and visual artistry could support the well-being of older adults and that creativity, which is related to the personality trait of openness, can lead to greater longevity. 


Now, how should we promote creativity and innovation among elder adults? 


Enroll in a Class


Our parents and grandparents might not have chance to learn what they wanted to learn during their younger days. Find out what your aging loved one always longed to learn, it could be painting, dancing, or even martial arts. 


Check out with your local senior center, parks or recreation department, or community college to learn more about classes for seniors. They would be able to pursue their passion, feel excited about learning new skills/knowledge, at the same time able to socialize with others. 


Brain Exercise


Playing mahjong has always been found effective in improving short-term memory, attention, and logical thinking in both middle-aged and elderly people. If your aging loved ones are not into interactive games like mahjong and chess, you can suggest activities such as Sudoku to keep their brain sharp, which helps them hold onto creativity longer. 


Besides, games like Candy Crush will also improve a senior's cognitive ability by making them think reasonably and quickly in order to win the game. 


Make it Musical


From listening to music to playing a musical instrument, there are many ways to incorporate music into the lives of seniors. Not only is music itself a creative outlet, it can also foster creativity -- from opening up memories to promoting a particular mood. Music is also one of the most effective ways to enter the creativity-boosting “mind-wandering mode,” in which the majority of human innovation occurs. 



Creativity promotes everything from self-expression to critical thinking, at any age. If you’re having trouble getting your loved one to try something new, consider doing it together. You’ll both derive benefits from sharing a new creative pursuit. From the Internet to books, a number of resources are available to help you find ideal creativity-enhancing activities for your aging loved ones. 


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