£1m fund will promote arts in care homes

Posted on April 27th, by geoff in Caring Times, Caring Times head. No Comments

Caring Times, May 2013

Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation have opened a £1m fund to help transform the lives of older people in residential care by providing them with quality arts experiences.

The Arts and older people in care grant, jointly funded by both organisations, will support older people in care homes to take part in arts activities, tailored towards their needs. Over the next three years, experiences supported by the fund will encourage older people to become actively involved in the arts, both as audience members and as participants.

Arts Council England chair Peter Bazalgette said the arts could make a real contribution to the lives of older people living in care homes.

“Recent studies have shown that taking part in arts activities gives older people the chance to express themselves creatively, encourages them to socialise more, and increases their enjoyment of life,” he said.

Despite all the benefits, very few older people, particularly those in residential care, engage with the arts. The most recent Taking Part in the Arts survey showed that people aged 75 or over had a much lower engagement in the arts than other age groups.

Added to this, there are more than 400,000 older people currently in residential homes, often excluded from the opportunities that taking part in arts and cultural experiences bring.

“The arts are a demonstrable source of health and happiness, no matter what age we are,” said Mr Bazalgette. “So if our mission is ‘great art for everyone’, it’s absolutely right that we ensure older people have the same opportunities as everyone else to experience what the arts have to offer.”

The jointly funded programme aims to support partnerships between arts oganisations and artists with those helping older people in care homes to deliver interesting enjoyable and interactive arts experiences for their residents. The learning from this will be made available to the wider arts and residential care communities to understand how best to engage with older people. The Arts Council and the Baring Foundation are seeking proposals from partnerships led by either residential care providers or arts organisations. It is envisaged that this will fund around four ambitious proposals.

  • For further information about the fund, contact Arts Council England, Tel: 020 79735189

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