Many of us associate getting older with decline, but some things get better with age. It turns out creativity can be one of them. With aging comes what is known as "crystallized intelligence". This is the collective benefit of a long life of experiences and acquired knowledge. While "fluid intelligence"-defined as the ability to think and reason abstractly-can decline with age-crystallized intelligence improves.
With age comes wisdom and better self knowledge. Inhibitions and self regulation decline, perhaps tapping previously unexplored areas of the brain. According to researcher Eugene Cohen this turns out to be a good thing and can lead to what Cohen calls "the new senior moment"-coming up with creative and often humorous solutions to problems. Cohen recounts the story of his 80 year old in-laws who were on their way to visit their daughter and her family in Washington DC. They had taken the subway as far as they could and planned to get a cab the rest of the way. When they came out of the subway they realized the city was being hit with a major snow storm and were not able to get a cab. Their daughter was still in her car on the way home from work and was not reachable (this was before cell phones), so they were left alone to come up with a solution to their dilemma. They simply walked across the street to a pizza delivery restaurant, ordered a pizza and asked to be delivered with it! They arrived safely at their daughter’s home and brought dinner with them!