Older adults are living longer than at any other time in the history of humanity due to medical advances, improved health care, and access to better nutrition. Life expectancies for both men and women now reach well into the 80s and beyond. The U.S. Census 2016 population report estimates that Michigan is considered to be one of the oldest states in the nation with a median age of 39.7, two years higher than the national average.

With this substantial increase in lifespan, including many years lived during retirement, the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging (CSA) asked their State Advisory Council on Aging (SAC) to research creative aging and determine what opportunities are available to Michigan’s older adults to live quality lives. Not only do older adults want to fill this golden time with purpose, they are looking at ways to confront their mortality and review their accomplishments by asking these questions:

• What additional things can be accomplished?

• How can unfinished business be completed and unresolved conflicts be resolved during this second part of life?

• Where are organized activities and continuing education classes located that will improve old skills or help to learn and master new ones?

These questions are often asked beginning in midlife and continuing throughout the retirement years, with older adults ultimately seeking greater meaning in their life experiences. They realize they have gained considerable wisdom over time and believe it is important to share their knowledge and insights with their families and others, along with reminiscing about their life experiences. This report reviews what makes a creative aging program effective and lists existing programs that meet these criteria. The reader will find that many creative aging program links are strategically placed throughout the report to make it easier to access the information quickly via electronic devices. Some links are mentioned more than once as they are relevant to various sections of the report, and some organizations offer several different creative programs for older adults. Many creative programs are offered in each of the 16 Michigan AAA regions and some are listed in the report.

An online version of the report may be found here.


  • Other Area Agencies on Aging +

    There are 16 AAAs that cover each of Michigan's 83 counties serving people with disabilities and older adults. Click here to see a listing of the AAA regions by county and a map to find one near you. Read More
  • Community Action Agency (Serving Hillsdale, Jackson, and Lenawee Counties) +

    A local organization to help people who are facing difficult times financially. They offer a variety of programs and can provide some short term assistance. Read More
  • Adult Protective Services +

    Adult Protective Services works to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect and exploitation. They are available any time day or night at 855-444-3911 to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation. Read More
  • MMAP +

    A statewide network providing high quality and accessible health benefit information and counseling. Read More
  • Legal Services of South Central Michigan +

    Provides general civil legal services to low-income and senior citizens with emphasis on homelessness prevention, domestic violence prevention, assisting in accessing health care, food, and needs-based income programs. Read More
  • National Institutes of Health +

    Health and wellness information for people over 60 to learn more about their health and aging. Read More
  • National Council on Aging +

    Online tools and tips to stay healthy and economically secure and on how to get involved with policy issues affecting seniors. Read More
  • Aging & Adult Services Agency (AASA) +

    State agency that coordinates all services for Michigan's aging and adult populations. Read More
  • Social Security Administration +

    The official guide to Social Security programs and services. Read More
  • Medicare +

    Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Read More
  • Medicaid +

    Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities. Read More
  • Area Agency on Aging Association of Michigan +

    Area Agency on Aging Association of Michigan Read More
  • Michigan Legislature +

    Find your state Senator and Representative and their contact information. Read More
  • Disability Connections +

    A provider of services and information to promote independence, productivity and full inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in the local community. Read More
  • Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC) +

    A source of information about issues facing Michigan's Disability Community with initiatives to help make our communities accessible, integrated, and supportive. Read More
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