Ardenwoods, a premier resort-style retirement community, gives each resident an opportunity for inspiration. Located in Arden, North Carolina, south of Asheville, scenic mountainscapes and lush grounds provide four seasons worth of imaginative inspiration for seniors at Ardenwoods, and that’s just what happens outside. Within the community Ardenwoods residents and staff alike seek to inspire one another and encourage creative pursuits.
Residents Prioritize Creative Interests
Anna, an Ardenwoods resident of nearly three-years, finds inspiration through the many activities and outings available to the residents of Ardenwoods, though her love of singing and fiber-arts are her first priority. She sang in her youth but stopped sometime in adulthood.
“I’m grateful to Shirley, a resident here that pulled me back into singing for the Ardenwoods chorus. She told me that residents that participate in the chorus just love to sing and have a good time; and that’s really what we do,” says Anna.
“There’s something about singing that is really good for the soul.”
Singing: Music Therapy
The National Endowment for the Arts’ literature review on the arts and human development would agree with Anna.
Anna’s feelings about the benefits of the arts are more than intuition. In fact, The National Endowment for the Arts explored these benefits in a recent piece about the arts and human development . Studies show that music and movement activities demonstrate benefits like improved mental health, cognition and emotional well-being in older adults. Singing impacts health through focused attention, deep breathing, social support, cognitive stimulation, and regular commitment. In some cases, the positive health benefits that seniors experience from singing groups last even beyond the timeframe of the group.
The Ardenwoods Chorus hosted a Veteran’s Day performance that featured patriotic songs to honor veterans, and is currently in rehearsals for a December 10th Christmas concert for residents and guests.
Research Highlights Positive Findings For the Arts and Seniors
The health benefits seniors receive from participating in arts activities in community with others are significant. Isolation decreases, morale increases, as do feelings of confidence. Maintaining social ties and sharing experiences provide a unique set of benefits: increased mobility, enhanced communication, a sense of belonging, and more health-seeking behaviors.
“I was a self-taught crocheter; I started at the age of nine. It’s relaxing to me, just like my music. It takes concentration, and you end up forgetting everything else. I enjoy using the needle, just like I enjoy singing,” says Anna.
Inspiration Found in Community, by Design
Participation in the arts enhances lives and provides emotional and even physical enrichment to seniors. Studies consistently show that pursuing the arts and creativity has a positive impact on cognitive and physical performance and improves quality of life. Ardenwoods boasts a rich cultural landscape and offers many programs, services and amenities specifically designed to give residents opportunities to explore the arts and cultivate creativity.
To learn more about the science behind seniors and the arts, or for information about the arts and activities programming at Ardenwoods, please call 825-684-7330.