“The younger version of me always dreaded the idea of growing older. Now that I’m knocking on autumn’s door, I’m quite delighted to have come this far and to be right where I am.” Dr. Judith Rich, HuffPost contributor
In the past, I too dreaded the idea of growing older. In my childhood and youth, I had internalized a negative stigma associated with being an older adult. Ageism is based on a belief that all older adults are the same –slow, incompetent, cute or senile. My own parents and grandparents lost their spark and passion when they retired. Both fell into a sustained depression. They retired from work and life.
Ageism is a cruel dismissal of an older person’s intrinsic value, creative talents, life and work experience, hard/soft skills, competence, intelligence, and humour. Eventually, my own research, exploration and experience resulted in the formation of a network of like-minded women and men.
Most of our Creative Age volunteers and network members have, in their own way, joined a movement to disrupt aging. The main goal of our London and Area Creative Age Network is peer leadership and empowerment to eliminate ageism and age discrimination in Southwestern Ontario through our own role modelling and mentoring.
- we support and celebrate the creative aging interests and community initiatives of more diverse populations of older adults (with a special focus on serving low-income and socially isolated groups)
- we act as connectors, convenors, and catalysts to advance the field of grassroots, community-based arts and aging
- we encourage and mentor individuals and groups as they develop networks and resources that will ultimately sustain creativity and Creative Age initiatives in other areas
- we also support individual and group initiatives to develop Encore Careers – pursuing purpose, passion and paycheque after the traditional age of retirement.
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We would be pleased to help you establish your own Creative Age group or organization in your city, neighbourhood or aging residence. We have experience in both urban and rural areas.
>We all have the chance to create a second half of life that is very different from what our parents or grandparents experienced. Instead of being diminished by time, our lives can become richer. It all depends on how we spend it … . This constitutes the third age, a new frontier with tremendous potential for growth.” William Sadler
According to Bruce Miller, MD, a behavioral neurologist at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, tells us we have ability to use one’s creativity throughout a lifetime and the impact of crystallized intelligence gained from the years of accumulated knowledge and life experiences, help to cultivate the aging, creative brain.
>Creative aging is freeing ourselves of limiting beliefs about aging and embracing the reality that individuals continue to grow, learn, and contribute to their communities throughout the life journey. Pat Spadafora – former Director of the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research
>Curiosity is the truth and the way of creative living. Whenever you’re told to “follow your passion,” it can be very intimidating, and it can be very confusing, because sometimes passion isn’t very clear, sometimes passions burn hot and then burn out, sometimes your passion changes, sometimes on a very sad Tuesday morning when you didn’t sleep well, the idea of passion just feels so out of reach that you can’t even imagine ever accessing it. And yet curiosity is this faithful, steadfast, friendly and accessible energy that is never far out of reach. Elizabeth Gilbert
>Aging is that extraordinary process where you become what you always could have been. David Bowie