Well-being of Older People

Personal well-being is a measure of positive emotions, a satisfying life, resilience and self-esteem; social well-being results from the experience of supportive relationships and a sense of trust and belonging

(Michaelson et al, 2009)

The term ‘well-being’ has become part of mainstream public policy in the UK and represents for Arts Together both an important goal and a key indicator against which we measure our effectiveness. We put improved “well-being” at the heart of what we do and aim to achieve this through encouraging and enabling creative and social activity.

Creative soap-making at Corsham

Creative soap-making at Corsham

Growing older can bring wisdom, a sense of perspective, time to reflect and deep experience to share with others. It can also involve change and loss through bereavement, retirement, moving home, temporary hospitalisation or decreased physical and mental capacity, which may in turn bring loneliness and social exclusion. Active participation in creative and social activities of the kind offered by Arts Together can help to counteract some of the negative effects of ageing, isolation and social exclusion.

Independent research, the testimonies of group members and the evidence gathered since 2000 demonstrate that Arts Together is an effective and valuable resource for older people, and for those who work towards their care and well-being. Research also shows that initiatives like Arts Together can reduce or delay the need for more expensive care services, thus saving public money in the longer term.

We annually evaluate and review the procedures and effectiveness of Arts Together in delivering its core aims through consultation with participants and contributors. In addition we invite external agencies to review our provision, the most recent of these sought to research current evidence in order to assess the relevance of our provision and our alignment with public and national policies. A summary of the review carried out at no cost to Arts Together by Whittington Consultants can be found here.

The conclusion of the review states –

Arts Together can reasonably claim from this review of research evidence that:

Papier Mache bowls

Papier Mache bowls

(Whittington Consultants – Aug 2010)