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Family 411: Rediscovering old passions or new hobbies can keep seniors young

Rediscovering old passions and finding new hobbies can keep seniors young (WSYX)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKRC) - Lots of seniors are refusing to be "old" and taking up new passions which can have a positive impact on health and wellness for seniors.

"It's sort of like group therapy in here. We talk about everything."

Sherri and Vicky chuckle as they paint and say life is a circus. That's the theme of an art show the women have been putting together for months. Embracing something new keeps them going. "Ah, it relaxes me. Gives me an opportunity to express myself."

Vicki, 65, has been a teacher and a coach. Now she doesn't have to focus on her students or family so she focuses on her own work. "It's been 30 years since I spent time with a canvas and a brush."

The women welcome other seniors to their classes. It's good to socialize together.

Elders may find after working outside the home for many years they have little to fill their lives. Grown children worry about that too. "Not feeling that you are a burden to anybody."

Choosing colors for a carousel keeps the brain active and problem solving skills are re-freshed.

Instructor Monique Mapp says seniors develop a sense of pride in their work. It doesn't have to be perfect. "It keeps them thinking, which keeps them going."

Vicky and the other seniors say they don't focus on their ailments. "I think if you sit still too long you turn into tin women."

Re-discovering skills or choosing new hobbies motivates people to grow and take risks.

These seniors say life is too short to waste. "They find themselves. They find a new part of their personalities."

According to a study by the Journal of Aging Studies, for people age 60 and up, lifestyles and priorities change. So having a sense of purpose as well as interaction with others contributes to aging well and a longer life.

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