The cover of Creative Elders: Original Stories, Poems and Reflections. The cover is blue with green writing and a green tree of life bearing orange, pink, and yellow fruit.

In August of this year, Shaker Pointe held a formal launch party for Creative Elders, a book featuring poems, short fiction, essays, and other works by 28 of our residents. Everything from the book’s graphic design to its illustrations was contributed by Shaker Pointe’s own community members. The authors ranged in age from 69 to 96 (the 69-year-old happens to be the daughter of the 96-year-old!) and featured reflections about life journeys, perspectives on the world, and life as a senior. The book was crafted with guidance from award-winning reporter and author Paul Grondahl and assistance from The Troy Book Makers.

Many residents involved were writing for the first time in years–or at all! One contributor is a resident who spent her childhood communicating with her father through rhyme and was excited to honor his memory through poetry. Another resident picked up creative writing for the first time at age 91 through the workshop with Paul Grondahl and discovered a natural gift. He has three works featured in the collection.

The idea to collect resident works into a book was generated by resident Ann Krupski, a former educator and published author. When asked about what drove the book, Ann Krupski says, “The book is a celebration of creativity–literary, artistic, and photographic, creativity of people 69 to 96. It’s for people who are considering retirement and thinking ‘What am I going to do?’ So that they can know that creativity is alive as people age. Creativity here at Shaker Pointe has presented itself in numerous ways and that was part of my inspiration.”

Peer-reviewed medical research shows that creative writing has been proven to increase quality of life for people of all ages. It also offers numerous health benefits for seniors, including enhanced cognitive abilities and improved emotional and mental health.

Creative Elders can be purchased online through Amazon, as well as in Shaker Pointe’s resident store and at the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza. Proceeds from the sales of the book will be dedicated to expanding this enriching project and funding future creative writing classes so that they may continue to foster growth and self-expression among the residents. (And we’d be remiss not to mention, in the throes of the holiday season, that books make wonderful gifts!)

Shaker Pointe is a dynamic independent senior living community that values creativity, compassion, community, and lifelong learning. Grab a copy of Creative Elders or give us a call to schedule your tour today!

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