Date: 12 February 2015

Creative ageing is about encouraging self expression. The term creative ageing was first used by US psychiatrist Gene Cohan and refers specifically to ageing well through engaging with the visual, performing and literary arts.

At Whiddon, we use the term more broadly to include arts and crafts, music and song, dance, theatre, storytelling, writing, cooking, gardening, mind games, digital technology, environmental design and lifelong learning. Creative ageing is about encouraging clients to express themselves through participating in the things they love. Whiddon is committed to taking a creative ageing approach in delivering care to clients. We offer a number of specifically designed creative ageing programs at our residential care homes and creative ageing techniques underpin many aspects of our care and leisure activities. It is part of our commitment to person and relationship centred care.

Creative ageing techniques have long been proven to have beneficial effects on older people. In addition to the social inclusion and enjoyment that creative expression brings, there are also therapeutic benefits such as improved physical capability and enhanced cognition. Our programs have been used to aid rehabilitation following strokes or operations, help manage mental health issues such as anxiety and depression and behaviour associated with cognitive impairment such as dementia, our creative ageing programs also improve the general health, happiness and overall wellbeing of our clients.

We are heavily involved in many of the major research programs and trials underway in NSW around creative ageing and wellbeing. We partner with organisations such as the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre, the Arts Health Institute, and Arts & Health Australia to develop and trial the latest thinking and programs around creative ageing and wellbeing.

Visit the creative ageing page on our website to find out more about the programs we offer, including PlayUp, Sing Out Loud Together, our Art Programs and Leap for Life.