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Monday, September 25, 2023

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Nevada organization calls for greater Latino engagement in politics; Gov. Gavin Newsom appears to change course on transgender rights; Nebraska Tribal College builds opportunity 'pipelines,' STEM workforce.'

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House Republicans deadlock over funding days before the government shuts down, a New Deal-style jobs training program aims to ease the impacts of climate change, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appeared at donor events for the right-wing Koch network.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Getting Crafty to Inspire Healthy Aging in SD

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Friday, December 2, 2022   

Winter is here, leaving many older South Dakotans vulnerable to social isolation. But a growing body of research, as well as opportunities, shows these individuals can improve their quality of life through creativity.

A study published shortly before the pandemic found that participating in community choirs can be a solution for reducing loneliness and increasing interest in life among older adults. And senior advocates have said it can go beyond music, with simple arts and crafts projects serving as creative outlets.

Lindsey Holmquest, associate state director for community outreach at AARP South Dakota, said they all tie together to reflect how beneficial these hobbies can be.

"Studies suggest that participating in art programs can improve physical and mental health by engaging the creative part of your brain," she said, "and that reduces stress, it improves resilience."

She stressed that it doesn't have to be something that requires a lot of talent, time or money. AARP tries to foster that approach through its "Art Together" sessions, with a statewide virtual event scheduled for Dec. 12. The registration deadline is midnight this coming Monday. Participants are asked to pay $10, and the materials will be mailed to them.

Outside of a specific program, Holmquest said the simple approach to arts and crafts can come in multiple forms.

"Finding some coloring books, or some watercolor paints, [it] makes you think in a different way, makes you see in a different perspective," she said.

And if you participate in an organized group or event, Holmquest said not only does it help to reduce loneliness, but can also make it easier to try something new when engaging with others, either virtually or in person. AARP South Dakota's sessions include guidance from local artists.

Disclosure: AARP South Dakota contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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