Treasury of arts activities for older people. Volume 2.
A second edition of a treasury of arts activities for older people. 52 activities, accessible and creative, for use with older people in any setting. Published by The Baring Foundation. Written by Liz Postlethwaite.
In 2019, Small Things Creative Projects worked with The Baring Foundation to create the first Treasury of Arts Activities for Older People. This publication was aimed at professional artists and reflected the fact that
there were many who would like to develop their practice in the growing field of creative ageing but who needed a little support and inspiration in order to do so.
That first Treasury has now been used in countries all over the world by a large range of practitioners, and clearly demonstrates a desire and commitment from professional artists to explore ways to use the arts and creativity to engage the most vulnerable older people.
This new Treasury follows on from the first but focuses upon people working with and supporting older people who would like to develop and grow the creative work that they do. These could be activity coordinators in care homes, dementia café volunteers, domiciliary carers or day centre staff; in fact anybody who would like to bring more art and creativity into the work they do with older people.
This introduction cannot be written without noting that at the earliest stages of this publication taking shape the world was plunged into the Covid-19 pandemic – a global catastrophe which has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable older people, many of whom have been left desperately isolated as a result of lockdowns and other social restrictions. It is also a sobering statistic to note that around a quarter of all people who have died as a result of Covid-19 in the UK have been people who were living with dementia.
The pandemic has created huge challenges for those working with older people. However, it has also overwhelmingly demonstrated the way in which people reach out to engage in the arts and culture in times of crisis and demonstrated the unique and powerful role that this engagement can play in maintaining the health and wellbeing of vulnerable older people, and the people that support them, in the most difficult times.
It is impossible to predict the future but, whatever it does hold, we hope that this new Treasury will provide readers with an arsenal of tools and inspiration that will enable them to embed the arts and creativity at the beating and bold heart of the crucial work that they do with older people.
All of the activities that are included have been kindly shared by individuals and organisations with a commitment to working creatively with older people. It is their generosity of spirit that has made this Treasury possible.