Healthy aging persons and their brains: promoting resilience through creative engagement

Clin Geriatr Med. 2010 Feb;26(1):149-61. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2009.11.004.


Creative engagement, as an expression of and a support for resilience, may have a neuroprotective effect among older adults, contributing to retention of cognitive capacity. Recent research on creative activities shows that they strengthen social networks and give persons a sense of control; both outcomes have been associated with brain health. The authors cite evidence suggesting that positive social interactions can nurture resilience and creative engagement among older persons, including those living with dementia. The motivational, attentional, affective, and social components of creative activities combine to offer older persons meaningful opportunities to express and strengthen their resilience, regardless of their cognitive status, despite the biopsychosocial challenges of aging. The article addresses implications for future research, clinical practice, and public policy, and suggests how gaps in current research on resilience and creativity might be addressed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Creativity*
  • Dementia / etiology
  • Dementia / prevention & control*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Sensory Art Therapies*