Targeted Outcomes

Our ageing population presents a range of challenges, outlined below, which the work of Independent Arts aims to address.

 

Physical Health

“A large proportion of disadvantaged older people, particularly those in their Fourth Age and those living in care homes, live with some form of limited mobility or loss of physical function.”

(Digital Arts and Older People, The Baring Foundation 2012)

The Role of Creative Activity

"Particular art forms may lend themselves more than others to significant physical health improvements (such as cardio-vascular, joint mobility and breathing control), including dance, singing and playing musical instruments.”

(Mental Health Foundation, 2011)

"Dance and movement have obvious benefits to physical health such as balance and muscular strength, while singing helps breathing and could be used well with people with dementia."

(Ageing Artfully, The Baring Foundation, 2009) 

Our Work

Our Workshops for Wellbeing Programme and our creative projects all aim to improve physical health. In particular, SingAbout is beneficial to anyone who wishes to improve their memory, breathing, movement speech and confidence. DanceMakers and our chair-based movement workshops both provide gentle exercise to improve co-ordination, muscle strength, mobility and breathing.

 

 

Mental Health

"Depression affects 1 in 5 older people living in the community and 2 in 5 living in care homes."                                  

(Adults in Later Life with Mental Health Problems, Mental Health Foundation quoting Psychiatry in the Elderly, 2002)

"One in seven people over 75 has 'major' depression which is severe, persistent and disrupts their day-to-day 'functioning' – rising to one in four if all depressions that impact on quality of life are included."                                

(Godfrey and Townsend, 2005)

The Role of Creative Activity

"Involvement in community arts initiatives may be particularly important in counterbalancing the mental wellbeing difficulties associated with periods of loss which can increase the risk of low mood, anxiety and social isolation."    

(Mental Health Foundation, 2011)

“Through participatory art many individuals exceed their personal expectations about what they could achieve, which enhances their mental wellbeing.”

(Mental Health Foundation, 2011)

Our Work

All of our creative arts programmes seek to engage participants in positive and rewarding experiences, improving self-esteem and mood.

 

 

Social Isolation

"It is estimated that among those aged over 65, between 5 and 16% report loneliness and 12% feel isolated. These figures are likely to increase due to demographic developments including family dispersal and the ageing of the population."

(Social Care Institute for Excellence, 2012)

"Loneliness and social isolation is a public health issue, with research highlighting the influence of social relationships on the risk of death as comparable to well-established risks such as smoking and alcohol consumption ."                          

(Social Care Institute for Excellence, 2012)

The Role of Creative Activity

“There is clear evidence that participatory arts programmes provide opportunities for meaningful social contact, friendship and support within the art groups themselves, as well as improving relationships between those living in care homes.”

(Mental Health Foundation, 2011)

"Many activities…take place in groups and bring with them social interaction and a sense of inclusion, countering a common aspect of older age – loneliness, isolation and depression."

(Creative Homes, The Baring Foundation, 2011)

Our Work

Our Creative Futures project was specifically designed to engage with isolated people living in residential care homes. The project supported and mentored volunteers to engage with participants in person-centred one-to-one sessions.

 

 

Dementia

"There are currently 800,000 people with dementia in the UK. There will be over a million people with dementia by 2021."

(Alzheimer's Society, 2014)

"80% of people living in care homes have a form of dementia or severe memory problems. Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community while one third live in a care home."                                                                          

(Alzheimer's Society, 2014)

The Role of Creative Activity

“In day and residential care settings participatory art can foster a better sense of social cohesion and community for those with dementia.”

(Mental Health Foundation, 2011)

“For older adults with dementia, participatory art can help improve cognitive functioning, communication, self-esteem, musical skills, pleasure, enjoyment of life, memory and creative thinking.”

(Mental Health Foundation, 2011)

Our Work

All of our creative work is adapted for those who have additional needs, such as dementia.  All of our staff have a good understanding of dementia awareness, and our Creative Practitioners have undertaken our in-house training programme, "Working Creatively with Dementia Sufferers".

 

 

The Need for Meaningful Activities in Care Settings

"…guidance for residential care homes reports that the provision of meaningful daily activities can restore and improve the health and mental wellbeing of residents."                                                                                                                          

(College of Occupational Therapists and National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People, 2007)

The Role of Creative Activity

“Care givers who enable residents’ continued participation in activities will help to reduce dif´Čüculties as a result of depression, falls and dependency.”

(Perrin 2005)

Our Work

Our Workshops for Wellbeing Programme offers a wide range of art activities in care home and other residential settings. We recognise the importance of a person-centred approach to engagement, ensuring that our offer is meaningful. 

 

 

Wellbeing

"…the first statement in NICE's quality standard calls for older people in care homes to be offered opportunities during their day to participate in meaningful activity that promotes their health and mental wellbeing."

(National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2013)

The Role of Creative Activity

"The arts in their widest sense can touch so many attributes of excellent care and quality of life: the value of active ageing, choice and control, independence and interdependence, creativty, lifelonglearning, identity, confidence, friendship, emotional stimulation, inellectual fulfilment, sensory pleasures…"                                                                                        

(Harper S and Hamblin K, 2010)

“Arts and culture can create a sense of wellbeing and transform the quality of life”

(A Prospectus for Arts and Health, Arts Council England, 2007)

“Through participatory art, older adults can embrace new and positive aspects to their identity and life role.”

(Mental Health Foundation, 2011)

Our Work

Our workshops both in residential settings and in the community offer participants the opportunity to benefit socially, mentally and physically, and ultimately increasing levels of wellbeing.

 

 

Belonging to a Community

"A good quality of life in older age means having a sense of purpose and full inclusion within the community with strong social contacts and mental stimulation. This does not stop when people move into residential care."

(Nominet Trust, 2013)

The Role of Creative Activity

“As long as we bear individual needs in mind different forms of arts activity both individually and in groups, can contribute to health and well-being and help people stay connected to social groups and communities and to a meaningful past, present, future and end of life.”

(Creative Homes, The Baring Foundation, 2011)

Our Work

Our SingAbout and DanceMakers groups have a firm sense of cohesion, providing a supportive environment where a feeling of 'family' is at the forefront. Our sessions in care home settings bring residents together through creative engagement, and through our 1-1 sessions, residents have developed confidence to take part in group activity. 

 

 

 

Stigma and Myths of Older Age

"It is often assumed that when someone enters residential care, their disability or illness is so all-consuming that they have no interest in anything other than their personal care and day-to-day comfort. While efforts have been made to engage with the issues of an ageing population and represent older people in all their diversity, older care home residents have effectively been excluded and disempowered."

(Scourfield, 2007)

The Role of Creative Activity

“Participatory art is a powerful tool that can contribute towards challenging and breaking down both the self and external stigmas of being older that pervade popular societal culture.”

(Mental Health Foundation, 2011)

“Defying stereotypes and shining a light on older people’s individuality and creativity is a purpose common to most participatory arts work with older people.”

(Digital Arts and Older People, The Baring Foundation 2012)

Our Work

We recognise the individuality and creativity in every person, and strive to provide arts opportunities to older people who may not be able to express themselves creatively. Our SingAbout and DanceMakers groups are supported by a strong team of volunteers, the majority of whom are older people. In addition, Independent Arts supports Older Voices, a local group where older people are empowered to voice the issues that are affecting them. 

 

 

Barriers to Digital Inclusion

“Fifty-five per cent of UK citizens aged over 65, and over seventy per cent of those over 75, have never used the internet. This generational ‘digital divide’ is becoming a well-established feature of the UK’s social and political discourse.”

(Digital Arts and Older People, The Baring Foundation 2012)

The Role of Creative Activity

"Digital Unite research has shown that of people over 55 who are using the internet, four out of five (86%) said it had improved their lives, 72% said being online had helped reduce their feelings of isolation and 81% said using the internet makes them feel part of modern society."

(Nominet Trust, 2013)

Our Work

In 2013, Independent Arts received a grant from the Clothworkers Foundation to purchase digital equipment. With this grant we purchased 12 iPads and digital recording equipment which was used in the Creative Futures Programme, and continues to be used in community and care home settings. 

SingAbout