Successful Aging Through Participatory Arts Programming For Older Adults

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80 is the new 40:
Successful Aging through Participatory Arts Programming for Older Adults
The United States is in the midst of a major demographic shift. People are living longer which means that the population of older adults, those sixty years and over, is growing. It is projected that by the year 2040, older adults will far outnumber school age children. Older adults are currently healthier and lead more productive lives than ever before, due in part to modern medicine and the new idea of seeing older people for their potential rather than their problems. This has prompted the concept of “creative aging” or “successful aging.” This positive view of aging is not new, only the terminology. Cicero, the Roman philosopher, is perhaps the first to introduce the idea of “good aging” in his essay, “On Old Age” which was penned in the year 44 BC. He wrote this essay in his early 60’s to show that old age is not a phase of decline and loss, and if approached properly becomes a time for positive change and productive functioning (Baltes & Baltes, 1990). Over the last few decades the subject of successful aging has been the topic of a number of scholarly articles and books and has recently been tied to participatory arts and humanities programming through agencies that provide services to the older adult demographic. As public libraries struggle to remain relevant in today’s society and respond to the changing needs of older adult patrons it is important to become more
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