Residents in every care home in Wales should be able to take part in artistic and creative activities, says Age Cymru.
The charity says everyone involved in delivering and supporting residential care, from local creative groups to the commissioners of care, and from regulators to the care homes themselves, has a responsibility to ensure that residents can take part in artistic and creative activities. It adds that residents’ creative and cultural lives should be a key part of conversations when older people move into residential care.
The charity specifically calls on local creative groups to view care homes as part of their community and to reach out to them so they can include residents in their activities. And it calls on the care homes to speak to residents about their interests before they move into a care home.
The charity adds that both commissioners and regulators of care should focus on creative opportunities when engaging with care homes. These and other calls are being made in a new Age Cymru policy paper Arts in Care Homes, that has been launched as part of the National Day of Arts in Care Homes: www.agecymru.org.uk/artsincarehomes
Funded by the Welsh Government, Age Cymru is also delivering a project that develops creative activities with care home residents across Wales which includes volunteers engaging with residents. The project is also working with care homes to gather and share good practice in supporting people when moving into a care home.
Age Cymru’s Head of Policy and Projects Heather Ferguson says “It has long been established that participating in arts and creative activities can help improve communication, self-esteem, enjoyment of life, memory, and creative thinking.
“Research shows the positive effects that engaging in creative arts can have on care home residents, improving both their physical and mental health. And these benefits are not just limited to residents. There are also positive effects on the well-being of care home staff which can improve their relationships with residents and thereby improve the overall quality of care within a home.”