Arts and Aging Day Canada logo, depicting images representing music, theatre, art and dancing

Third annual Arts and Aging Day spotlights benefits of arts for older adults

Sep 21, 2022

From choir to poetry, visual arts to dance, incorporating art-based activities into our lives can help create paths to healthy aging. Join Sheridan’s Centre for Elder Research (CER) and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) on September 24, 2022, to celebrate the third annual Arts and Aging Day Canada.An older woman holds up a box covered with drawings of things that are key to a good memory

Participating in the arts can bring people together, provide an opportunity for personal growth and spark fond memories. This year, in celebration of Arts and Aging Day Canada, we want to hear from you — tell us about what your organization is doing to promote arts and aging in your community.

How to Get Involved:

  • Visit the Arts and Aging Day Canada website for examples of arts-based activities.
  • Take a photo, write a blog post or make a video of an arts-based activity or creation.
  • Write a social media post with the hashtag #ArtsAndAgingCA and share it across social media on September 24, 2022!
  • Follow #ArtsAndAgingCA to learn more.

Launched in 2019, Arts and Aging Day Canada is an opportunity to spotlight the positive effects and importance of incorporating art-based activities for older adults in homecare, retirement communities, senior centres, long-term care homes, and community organizations across the country.

An older woman holds a painting she created titled 'Sunny Memories' and featuring a bouquet of flowersBased on the work of Arts in Care Homes, a not-for-profit based in the United Kingdom, Arts and Aging Day Canada is a country-wide social media initiative led by Dr. Kate Dupuis, Schlegel Innovation Leader in Arts and Aging at CER and the RIA, and a professor in the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies at Sheridan. This dual position is the first of its nature at Sheridan and the RIA. Dr. Dupuis’ research explores the creative and performing arts in relation to older adults, and how participation in the arts can serve to enhance the health and well-being of older adults and those who care for them.

“Arts-based activities are an amazing way to help us stay healthy as we age,” says Dr. Dupuis. “At CER and the RIA, we believe in the benefits that engaging with the arts brings to both older adults and their care partners. Arts and Aging Day Canada is the only national event of its kind, and we look forward to continuing our engagement with partners from coast to coast about the unique benefits of arts-based activities.”

Arts and Aging Research

As national leaders in the field of arts and aging research and programming, Dr. Dupuis, CER, and the RIA are focused on ensuring that art-based activities are an integral part of the daily lives of older adults, particularly those in congregate settings or living alone. Over the last year, Dr. Dupuis, CER and the RIA have undertaken innovative research in the area of arts and aging in older adults. A few examples are highlighted below:

Memory and Creative Expression:

In collaboration with Baycrest Health Sciences and artist Elaine Brodie, a Professor in the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design, Dr. Dupuis combined standardized memory training with a visual art making experience. Dr. Dupuis and professor Brodie worked with participants to create a memory box that represented their learned skills and concepts related to memory formation. Participants blossomed with this experience, building self-confidence, and connecting with other people virtually during the pandemic.

Virtual Music Therapy Visits Program:

The Virtual Music Therapy Visits Program was created by Dr. Dupuis to assist residents living in long-term care to connect virtually with friends and family members through the power of music and song as facilitated by a Certified Music Therapist. Building on the successful trial of the program, Dr. Dupuis created a guide as a resource for professionals who support older adults living in long-term care settings, including recreation and activity team members, recreation coordinators, and music therapists who wish to offer Virtual Music Therapy Visiting opportunities to their residents.

For more information on how to integrate arts-based activities for older adults in your organization, please email kate.dupuis@sheridancollege.ca.

About Sheridan’s Centre for Elder Research

Sheridan is known as a global leader in creativity, innovation and research excellence, with the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research (CER) unique in its role as the sole Canadian college research centre focusing on older adults. CER conducts leading-edge research in the field of aging by examining innovative ways to enhance the well-being of older adults and the people and environments that support them.

About Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging

The Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and care of older adults. The RIA tackles some of the biggest issues facing an aging population by integrating research, education and practice. The RIA develops solutions that make a difference to benefit older adults everywhere.

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