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At Cedar Crest, an activity for everyone, including new adult coloring club

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July 6th, 2016
The Annual Cedar Crest Activities Fair drew more than 300 people interested in the community’s 180 clubs and activities.

The Annual Cedar Crest Activities Fair drew more than 300 people interested in the community’s 180 clubs and activities.

What’s colorful, relaxing, and fun for adults and kids alike?

Give up? It’s coloring.

The growing nationwide trend of adult coloring has caught on, and it’s come to Cedar Crest, the Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J.

As a popular new addition to Cedar Crest’s 180 groups and activities, the Coloring With Adults Club was recently launched on campus. It attracts an average of 10 to 20 people each week.

Creative relaxation

Amy Wagener, community resources manager at Cedar Crest, provides participants with crayons, colored pencils, markers, and coloring pages featuring butterflies, flowers, and geometric designs. 

 Resident Barbara Seixas says coloring is an excellent way to relax and be creative without having to take an art class.

“It settles the mind,” says Barbara. “It is not like a craft project where you have to think about how many yards of fabric or how many tubes of paint do I need.” 

In addition to being fun, creative, and calming, residents mention it is a wonderful way to socialize each week.

Everything but the kitchen sink

On March 23, community members discovered all the campus activities at the annual Activities Fair. From the hiking club to the quilting group, a variety of interests and talents were on display.

More than 300 people attended the fun-filled event and explored the vibrant opportunities the community offers through its resident-run and resident-driven activities. Pursuits include arts and crafts, culture, education, games, movies and theater, travel, volunteer, fitness, and many other topics.

Helen Kotler, a member of the Ping-Pong Pals, says, “I laugh playing Ping-Pong more than any other time.” 

The club has over 40 members and meets three times a week on campus.

Leo Thomas, a member of Cedar Crest Chorale, says, “I enjoy being part of this group for many reasons. Singing is a wonderful way to stay alert mentally and physically. You have to know what note and when to sing, learn the music, and follow directions. It also sharpens your hearing and is an aerobic exercise. Then there is also just the joy of singing!” 

The Cedar Crest Chorale, which performs two concerts on campus each year, sings a wide range of music from all eras and styles, including singing in four parts.

It’s healthy to be social

Whatever their hobby of choice—whether it’s the African drumming circle, bridge group, watercolor class, or a weekly happy hour, Cedar Crest community members have no shortage of opportunities to benefit from social interaction. And that’s a big deal as we get older. 

Numerous research studies have shown that seniors with the highest levels of social activity have significantly higher cognitive function than those who are least socially active.

The Rush Memory and Aging Project terms social interaction and activities “life space.” 

According to the project’s website, “Life space is the extent to which we move through our environments as we carry out our daily lives—from home to garden to restaurants to workplace and beyond.” 

The project’s investigators have found that constricted life space is associated with decreased cognitive functions. They recommend that people—particularly older adults—get out as much as possible and enjoy the world around them. At Cedar Crest, it’s the way of life.