Kelly Barr from Age Cymru on Ageing Positively
On the 29 September, we kick off our annual week-long celebration of ageing positively. Each year, Age Cymru organises special events, talks and walks highlighting some of the activities that we run throughout the year, all with the intention of promoting positivity around ageing and eradicating ageism.
To quote the astounding Ashton Applewhite in her book, This Chair Rocks:
"When we make the world a better place to grow old in, we make it a better place in which to be from somewhere else, to have a disability or be queer or non-white or non-rich… when we show up at all ages for whatever cause tugs at our sleeve – save the whales, the clinic, the democracy – we not only make that effort more effective, we dismantle ageism in the process."
We support Welsh Government’s plan to integrate health and social services, through A Healthier Wales, and can see the benefit that this would make to older people, allowing them to not only lead healthier, but more fulfilled lives.
One way that we see this action plan improving lives is through cARTrefu, our arts in care homes project. In visiting cARTrefu sessions, we have already seen great examples of health, social care and the arts sector working together to improve the lived experiences of older people. We have proven that our creative residencies improve the well-being of residents and the attitudes of staff and artists towards those living with dementia and what they can achieve (Full Evaluation Report can be seen here).
More than anything, cARTrefu has allowed us to promote relationship-centred care, by showing creative ways for families and staff to connect with residents and who they are now. We would love for everyone to see how care homes can be a fantastic place for people to age in a positive way, where staff and residents alike can explore their creative sides together and where a sense of community, filled with laughter and joy, is created. You can see our cARTrefu film, by BAFTA Award-winning film-maker Clare Sturges, here:
Over the next two years, we’ll be delivering cARTrefu workshops for care home staff across Wales, to give practical tips on how to bring creativity into everyday life, and how to ensure that all residents can be included. To be kept up to date of these opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arts & Creativity Programme Manager
Kelly Barr is Age Cymru’s Arts & Creativity Programme Manager, managing an annual festival that celebrates arts and creativity in older age, as well as the cARTrefu arts and care homes project, and Gwanwyn Clubs around Wales. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/our-work/arts-and-creativity/cartrefu/