University of Newcastle: Researchers get creative to support healthy ageing minds

Researchers will investigate how the creative arts can support healthy brains and heathy minds as we age.

Older person painting
The multi-disciplinary University of Newcastle research team, led by Associate Professor Helen English, has secured a $75,000 Dementia Australia Research Foundation grant to run the project.

Keeping active in later life is important for maintaining social, cognitive and emotional wellbeing as well as delaying or preventing the onset of dementia.

Creative arts activities offer a promising approach to engage thinking, emotions, creativity and imagination; and complement physical activity to promote wellbeing in older adulthood.

The interdisciplinary team comprising Dr Sharon Savage, Dr Michelle Kelly and Professor Frini Karayanidis together with Associate Professor Helen English will run a comparative research study investigating the effects of art making and song writing on brain, cognitive and emotional processes in older adults. The aim is to identify the important ingredients of creative activity programs that drive benefits in wellbeing.

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