Elizabeth Mackinlay - Creativity, spirituality and resilience: the challenges in later life
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Elizabeth Mackinlay - Creativity, spirituality and resilience: the challenges in later life

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Elizabeth Mackinlay - Creativity, spirituality and resilience: the challenges in later life

Elizabeth Mackinlay - Creativity, spirituality and resilience: the challenges in later life

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Elizabeth Mackinlay - Creativity, spirituality and resilience: the challenges in later life Elizabeth Mackinlay - Creativity, spirituality and resilience: the challenges in later life Presentation Transcript

  • Creativity, spirituality and resilience: the challenges in later life Rev Prof Elizabeth MacKinlay AM, RN, FACN Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies School of Theology Charles Sturt University Canberra www.centreforageing.org.au
  • What is creativity?  Creativity is more than doing activities, enjoyable as these may be.  Creativity goes to the heart of what it is to be human.  Creativity includes transformation and part of this is imagination  It is the means of fulfilling human destiny and human potential for being: ◦ physically, ◦ mentally, ◦ emotionally and spiritually
  • What are the possibilities and boundaries to human creativity?  Irish monks 8th and 9th centuries – vocation to mystery and growth, liberty and abandonment to God, in self-commitment to the apparent irrationality of the winds and the seas, in witness to the wisdom of God (Merton 1967)  Dementia where cognitive vulnerability exists: creativity can be stifled or supported
  • Creativity as doing? In refuting the claims that creativity must be assessed and evaluated as abilities, Kastenbaum (1992) asked,  "Why do we not see creativity as multi-dimensional instead of limited to achievement through abilities? What are the meanings and functions of creativity in the later years?" (p. 291).
  • Developmental phases of mid to later life Re-evaluation Liberation Summing up Encore Cohen( 2006)
  • S P I R I TU A L I T Y- Ultimate Meaning Mediated through Religion: Worship Prayer reading of Scripture meditation Relationship: intimacy with others and/or God Creation/creativity: nature, sea, mountains, gardens, work – human imagination The arts: music, poetry, art, drama, dance Spirituality and Religion
  • Baby boomer ageing and wellbeing 1. congregation members 2. care providers (staff who are baby boomers and provide care) 3. care recipients’ baby boomer adult children (those who have parents in care)
  • Baby boomer ageing and wellbeing  survey was administered to 143 participants and  follow up focus groups representative of each of the three groups of baby boomers  Australian (92.81%)  born in the UK and Europe (12.68%)  Uniting Church (57.04%). Around 35% reported other Christian affiliation  Of adult children of care recipients,17.39% reported no religious affiliation.
  • Findings from the study  Spirituality promotes mental and physical health and lowers anxiety about ageing  Baby boomers are not necessarily affiliated with religious organisations but according to the results of the survey have higher levels of spirituality
  • Putting creativity into practice Creativity is radical: it breaks the bonds of stability and encourages us to venture beyond the boundaries of routine and practiced responses. It is this dynamic interplay between stability and change that creates an everchanging synthesis of ideas that we recognize as wisdom” Patterson & Perlstein (2011 p35).
  • Ways towards transformation & creative being – leading to resilience Engage human imagination in the process releasing the best of relationships and the arts to aid: ◦ Connecting with our story ◦ Sharing story with others –using the past to inform the present and move towards future ◦ Provide opportunities for reflection, review, celebrations as well as confession and forgiveness
  • Effects of engaging in creativity  Significant reduction of depression levels in the pastoral care groups: A within- group analysis on the pastoral care groups, comparing testing session 1 with testing session 3 on the GDS showed that this comparison is significant (p<.05)  Levine School of Music singing group that revealed “better health, fewer doctor visits, and less medication usage, along with more positive responses on the mental health measures and a higher level of social engagements” (Cohen, 2008)
  • Conclusion  What do we expect of our ageing? A vital question for us all  Are we for passive entertainment, or vital engagement?  Engaging in creativity is key to resilience in later life  Many of the choices that lie before us are ours