University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Supporting creative ageing through the arts: The impacts and implementation of a creative arts programme for older people.

Evans, Simon ORCID: and Bray, Jennifer ORCID: (2021) Supporting creative ageing through the arts: The impacts and implementation of a creative arts programme for older people. Working with Older People. ISSN Print: 1366-3666 Online: 2042-8790 (In Press)

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This paper reports on an independent evaluation of a three-year ‘creative ageing’ programme, focusing on the impacts for participants and factors promoting successful delivery of sessions.
Artists provided feedback through reflective journals and questionnaires, while the views of care staff and participants were also captured in a standard format at the end of each arts session. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data identified common themes.
Twenty-three arts projects were delivered across a range of settings and through diverse art forms including dance, drama, music, visual arts and poetry. They reached nearly 2,200 participants who recorded over 8,100 session attendances in total. Participation in high quality creative experiences improved wellbeing for older people, as well as increasing social interaction and reducing isolation.
Several factors facilitated successful implementation and delivery of the activities, particularly the need to hold planning meetings with staff to provide guidance around participant numbers and suitability, minimising disruption of the sessions, and the supportive role of staff during the sessions. Opportunities for reflection enabled artists to address potential challenges and adapt their practice
to meet the needs and preferences of participants and to the complexities of diverse settings.
Previous research has largely focused on the impact of activities in a single setting. This study supports the role of creative arts in increasing social interaction as an attempt to tackle isolation and loneliness, both for older people living in the community and for those living in a communal setting such as care homes and supported living schemes.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: ageing well, creative arts, care homes, meaningful activities, loneliness, quality of life
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
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Depositing User: Simon Evans
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2021 11:30
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2021 11:30

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