Engaging with older people

Ground-breaking projects with Older People by Engage Cymru

Between 2009–2012 Engage Cymru ran 11 far-reaching projects across Wales focusing on older people in partnership with local authorities, health boards, care homes and galleries. The projects have set out to address many of the challenges faced by older people, including loneliness and social isolation, as highlighted in the Older People Strategy for Wales. In line with the Strategy, the projects have focused on challenging societal stereotypes around ageing and offering valuable and engaging participatory activities using galleries as starting points. Several of the projects have focused on older people with dementia and taken place in a range of settings.

In his foreword for the 2012 evaluation report, Tim Joss, Director of the Rayne Foundation said:

This work offers the tantalising prospect of arts interventions making real improvements in many older people’s mental lives.

Following a visit to the Engage Cymru project with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Huw Lewis, Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, said:

[the visual arts] can have a positive effect on people who are in a healthcare setting, and provides another way for people to express themselves.

Engage Cymru will continue to be involved in this important area of work in an advisory capacity on an Arts and Health Research Council funded project with Bangor, Manchester Metropolitan and Newcastle Universities who aim to contribute towards the creation of dementia supportive communities through ground-breaking arts inventions across the UK, enabling and nurturing cultural change in the workplace.

You’ll find details of these projects on these pages, along with research reports and case studies. For more information, contact Engage Cymru.