Dadswell_et_al_2020.docx (55.4 kB)
The impact of participatory arts in promoting social relationships for older people within care homes
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 17:14 authored by Anna Dadswell, Hilary Bungay, Ceri Wilson, Carol Munn-Giddings
Aims: Loneliness and social isolation negatively affect wellbeing and quality of life. Despite the proximity of others, older people living in care homes often experience loneliness and social isolation. The impact of participatory arts on wellbeing is widely acknowledged, however relational impacts have received less attention. This article explores the impact of participatory arts in care homes on the social relationships between older people and older people and care staff. Methods: ‘Creative Journeys’, an initiative led by Essex County Council, provides opportunities for older people living in care homes to participate in arts activities. In this study three arts organisations (reminiscence arts, seated dance, and orchestral music participation) delivered participatory arts in three homes. Stage one of the research comprised mixed-methods case studies in each home. Stage two involved an online survey across care homes in Essex to provide a broader perspective, with follow-up interviews in three further homes, and a focus group with the arts organisations. Findings presented here focus on the qualitative data around the impact of participatory arts on the social relationships in care homes between older people and older people and care staff. Findings: Participatory arts enhanced social relationships between older people and between older people and care staff in care homes. Through engagement in shared experiences leading to increased communication and interaction, participatory arts facilitated social connectedness between residents, and changed the relationship dynamics between older people and care staff, thus promoting reciprocity. Conclusions: Participatory arts enable older people to express themselves creatively, and make meaningful contributions to their social relationships. Policy makers and those working in the care sector should consider including participatory arts as an integral and necessary component of quality care for older people living in care homes.
Publication titlePerspectives in Public Health
- Accepted version