Combating social isolation in elderly New Yorkers

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A new initiative in New York State will help support the physical and mental health of older New Yorkers and combat social isolation.

The state launched a three-region Creative Aging initiative to provide hands-on art making programs. The initiative was created by a partnership with the New York State Council of the Arts and the New York State Office for the Aging.

Starting as a pilot in the spring, the program will serve up to 500 older adults at up to 12 senior centers in the Capital Region, Long Island and the North Country.

It will also create jobs for professional teaching artists, who will lead hands-on skill building workshops.

Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen said, “NYSOFA is excited to partner with NYSCA on this important Initiative. Access to the arts has been proven to help combat social isolation and improve both physical and mental health. Isolation often leads to serious health issues such as cognitive decline, depression and heart disease, among others – and participation in the arts provides meaningful ways for older adults to stay engaged socially, civically and psychologically in their communities. This creative aging pilot is another way that New York State, as the first age-friendly state in the nation, is continuously working to improve the health and well-being of New York State’s 4.3 million older adults.”

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