Skip to content

Health Benefits of Writing for Older People

Writing has many benefits – for younger and for older people. Not only can it help to heal emotional wounds but research has found that writing regularly can help to improve physical health too. You don’t have to be a serious novelist to benefit from writing – even writing a blog or a private journal can help. It’s the act of writing, of releasing thoughts from your interior onto the paper, that has the health benefits – even helping those with asthma, cancer and AIDs.

When you consider that older people tend to have more illnesses and health complaints than younger people, it makes sense that the health benefits of writing should be considered. When you think about it, we rarely write letters now as it is more convenient to send text messges, facebook updates or pick up the telephone.

Age should not be a block to anyone who wants to write. It is said that everyone has a book in them and while you might not feel that you will ever be a published author (or perhaps want to be), it’s worth bearing in mind that many novelists started their writing career relatively late in life.

There are many authors who started writing in their fifties and older. Marjorie Quarton, from Co. Tipperary, was in her fifties when she wrote her first book. Now in her eighties, she is a busy editor and writer. Bram Stoker was 50 when he published Dracula, the book that became his best known work. Laura Ingalls Wilder was 64 when she published the first of the Little House on the Prairie series which ended up being a series of eight books, they were translated into many languages, read and reread by many people and we are all familiar with the television series too. Frank McCourt was 66 when Angela’s Ashes was published and he went on to write two more books.

If you are over 60, this could be the opportunity you are looking for. To celebrate Bealtaine’s 20th birthday, Age & Opportunity, together with Listowel Writers’ Week and the Creative Writing programme at University of Limerick (UL), are offering a person, aged 60 or over, an opportunity to participate in the MA in Creative Writing. The bursary of €3,000 (plus a partial fee waiver) will support the successful applicant to undertake the programme. The organisers hope that this will enable somebody to fulfil a long-held ambition to take a formal writing course, mentored by the MA in Creative Writing programme at UL.

The one-year MA course is taught by internationally successful authors including UL’s Chair of Creative Writing, Professor Joseph O’Connor (author of the million-selling Star of the Sea) as well as Donal Ryan (The Spinning Heart) and Giles Foden (The Last King of Scotland).

I have met Donal Ryan on two occasions. Not only is he a talented writer but he is an eloquent speaker and a very very nice person. If you are interested in creative writing and you live relatively close to Limerick, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Not only will you enjoy meeting like minded people and benefit from improve health (according to the research), but you just might have a bestseller inside of you bursting to get out.

photo credit: Grading via photopin(license)

Want to find out more about what care services suit your needs best?

Book A Consultation Now
Join Our Newsletter