The Benefits Of Writing For Older People

Have you ever wanted to write a book, write poetry or craft some poems? Maybe you have written in the past and stored them away in a drawer?

Apart from the fact that writing has immense health benefits, there are now more writing classes and literary festivals available in Ireland than ever before. Whether you are 40, 60, 80 or 100 – it’s never too late to start writing.

What are the health benefits of writing?

Writing can help people to feel happier and healthier, it can even ease the symptoms of non-psychiatric diseases. Some argue that writing about stressful or traumatic events can provide the most benefit as the action of writing can help people to deal with the trauma or the distress. Yes, it can be emotionally exhausting when actually writing but apparently the effort provides quite interesting rewards.

The benefits seem incredible – less pain, less use of medication, scoring better on tests and fewer medical appointments required.  Apparently writing can even ease the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. It may seem far-fetched but the studies have been completed and results drawn. Writers are also less prone to depression, particularly if they have written about their anxieties or worries. The writing process seems to be cathartic and it helps the writer to deal with things in bite-sized chunks, gaining new insight into their feelings. When you think about it, how many people have published books about traumatic childhoods in recent years? A significant number of Irish residents have done so.

Added benefits would include joining writing communities and making new friends, enjoying reading more, experiencing the achievement of getting published and seeing your work in print.

While there are many writing workshops all over the country, February and March sees creative writing workshops for those over the age of 60 and who have experienced bereavement. They are ideal for those who are novices at writing or those who have some experience. So many people have always wanted to write but weren’t sure where to start or just didn’t have the time nor the confidence. Now it is their opportunity and the health benefits of writing can also help them deal with their bereavement. Let’s hope it might be rolled out around other Irish counties too.

If you are interested in taking part, here’s details of the creative workshops in Derry and Belfast.

If you have published recently, do share the news with us. We would love to hear.

photo credit: Reading List via photopin (license)