New Tool will have Seniors Cartooning Themselves to Wellness

Research says engaging in creative activity can significantly improve the mind-body connection in seniors, enhancing long term health and well being. The newly- launched Creativity Toolbox is the first online creativity portal for seniors. With the help of Ada, the virtual artist, seniors do graffiti, paint pictures, create songs, cartoon, all at their own speed—with the added benefit of increased brain power and health.

Bensalem, PA – June 25, 2009 — Developer Lian Sawires has launched a fun interactive website created especially for senior citizens, with large size type, a talking virtual artist and lots of easy brain-boosting activities to help seniors feel good and improve health while having fun. Designed to be used by folks who know nothing about the computer, it can be used by individuals alone, with the help of an aide, or as the focal point of arts classes given by activities directors in assisted living communities. Concepts like self direction, and sequential learning, important buzz words for senior learning, are incorporated into the format which showcases free creativity web content that is available online. But on this portal, it is set up for the older adult. Want to reminisce? Read poetry written by seniors, or work out your anger in a simple cartoon? You can do it here.

Sawires is available for interviews and you can also preview Creativity Tool Box for Seniors, by going to the site: www.creativitytoolbox.org and inserting the user name: blue and the password: berry. An artist and executive, Sawires says her work as a hospice volunteer prompted her to build the useful site.

Arts and creativity for seniors is a growing field, as boomers hit retirement. The 65+ population is expected to double by year 2030 from 2000 (agingstats.gov). Dr Gene Cohen MD, PhD, Director of the Center on Aging, Health & Humanities at The George Washington University Medical Center, says “Art is like chocolate for the brain.” According to Dr Cohen, our brain function and creative potential don’t diminish as other body systems do. His recent four year study of the impact of creativity on health and wellbeing in older Americans provides compelling evidence that engaging with the arts can lower stress and anxiety, improve mental health and self-esteem and reduce reliance on medication, with less falls and hospital stays. Contact Sawires directly for more information, email: [email protected], phone: 215-638-7696.

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