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Creativity Matters: The Arts and Aging Toolkit
photo of three men singing (Golden Tones)

Basic Terms

Before you begin, it is helpful to learn these definitions:

Aging services field
Organizations, corporations, institutions, and individuals such as the Administration on Aging, state units on aging, local-level area agencies on aging, senior centers, continuing-care retirement communities, corporations or foundations that own these communities, healthcare-focused community organizations (such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the Visiting Nurse Association), family and professional caregivers, adult day programs, and hospitals.

Arts field
Public, nonprofit, and for-profit arts organizations and institutions, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, state and local arts agencies, regional arts organizations, community schools of the arts, individual artists, arts education organizations, organizations focused on the literary arts, community-based organizations, musical instrument manufacturers, artist materials manufacturers, performing arts centers, presenting organizations, museums, symphonies, and dance, opera, and theater companies.

Arts and aging field
Organizations and individuals in the arts and aging services fields who are focused full-time or part-time on providing sustained, high-quality, professionally led, participatory, community arts programs to older adults.

A physical and social construct that includes cities, neighborhoods, apartment buildings, condominiums, residential facilities (for example, independent living, assisted living, skilled care/long-term care), and a group of people who interact and share certain things such as values or proximity.

Lifelong learning
A process of accomplishing personal, social, and professional development throughout the lifespan of individuals in order to enhance the quality of life of individuals and their communities. Lifelong learning also refers to educational classes, usually affiliated with a college, community college, or university, designed by or for older adults, and often taught by older adults.

The glossary contains additional definitions.