Preventing the poorer health outcomes of loneliness in older age by providing creative avenues for purpose driven self-engagement

Mr Chris Mead1, Ms Stephanie Finn1

1Arts Health Agency/ Creature Tales

Abstract:
International research reveals the impacts of loneliness and social isolation in older age increases hospital visitations, early age care admissions, dementia, disease and death rates.

This presentation addresses our approach to “doing” with older people rather than to, or for them; normalising intergenerational exchange as a social tonic and creative participation as the tapestry to building stronger, more socially exclusive communities.

Our work focuses on the transitions of later life collaborating with partners in the arts and community sectors to prevent poor social health and support individuals to rekindle past skills and reconnect to likeminded communities.

Examples of past and present projects will demonstrate innovative approaches to building social capital and connections aimed at nurturing improved management of individual self-care.

The Billy Project ~ Age Care residents have purpose in supporting Prep students transitioning to full time schooling.

The Big Widow Project ~ Age Care residents contribute support and befriend long term job seekers.

Carnival of the Here and Now ~ Raising the visibility and capacity of older people’s contribution to arts and culture in a public event defying ageism.

Biography:
Chris Mead and Stephanie Finn are national award winning creative producers in community health and cultural development. Arts Health Agency is a not for profit organisation addressing the social and economic impacts of loneliness in older age advocating for accessible creative participation to compliment health care at any stage of life.

 

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