There is a growing evidence base for the positive impact that participatory arts programmes have on emotional wellbeing and health of older people, as indicated by Age UK’s newly published Wellbeing Index.
For the past three years, The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT)
, one of the UK’s largest care providers for older people, has been working in conjunction with a number of organisations to bring artists from different art forms into their care homes to give their residents the opportunity to get involved in a variety of projects. These have included music, poetry, dance, art and sculpture.
Artists sharing their skills have been supported in many cases by funding from organisations which champion arts for older people, such as the Baring Foundation and the Arts Council.
Victoria Elliot, OSJCT’s Principal Consultant for Innovation says,
“We have seen an array of benefits for the people living and working in our care homes at both an individual and a community level. These benefits are often cumulative, and leave a positive legacy that lasts well beyond the arts session itself."