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December 16, 2021

Connected to the world: older people and the arts

Profile image for Jessica Duffy

Learning Facilitator, Time to Shine

Pulling together this blog I couldn’t work out why it was so dull. I realised in summarising our report I’d forgotten to mention that engaging through arts is fun! People join in because they want to have a go.  It’s why Hookers and Clickers do it for charity and my house is full of gradually less wobbly posts, and people watch Strictly and go to ballroom dancing classes and follow the Great Sewing Bee.

Either they do it because they have always loved it, or they always wanted a go and they couldn’t for some reason when they were younger, and now someone is offering them a chance to try something. It’s pretty low risk if you’re learning a new thing; you’ll probably all make wobbly pots to start with, and even if they are wobbly the world won’t come to an end.

Group of colourfully dressed older people holding a pose together

People join in, they have fun, they might make friends today, or just feel more cheerful and have something to talk to others about tomorrow.

There is a serious report about how to engage older people in arts activities here, it’s full of helpful suggestions and tips and hints, and it enumerates the ways that people benefit but remember – mostly people do it because it makes them feel connected with the world.

Read poems, sing songs, dance together, write blogs, learn to draw, or marvel at the lives created in a play.

Oh, and read the report – it’s full of useful information to help you make this all happen.

  • Over a quarter of the 105 Time to Shine projects used arts activities to engage socially isolated older people. Why?
  • Can creativity help to reduce social isolation and loneliness in older people?
  • Learn to knit, or draw, or sing with a friend, or make one whilst you are learning?
  • Making things together – music, poetry, drama or a pile of poppies for remembrance day – is good for you.

To answer these questions, and to look beyond these comments, download and read our report – Older people and the arts: health and wellbeing through creative engagement.

Jessica Duffy
Learning Facilitator, Time to Shine