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Tackling loneliness in older age: the role of the arts

Author(s)

CUTLER David

Publisher(s):

Baring Foundation

This report looks at the scale and impact of loneliness among older people and argues that the arts are a powerful tool to tackle the problem. It suggests that older people need a broad range of opportunities and activities to help them maintain healthy social relationships. These can include care and befriending support, but just as important are opportunities that connect them to their communities, such as faith, learning, fitness, leisure and cultural activities. The arts are an effective way to tackle loneliness but can be overlooked by older people’s services. The report provides some practical actions for this activity to be increased and a list of resources. It contains an appended series of ten case studies drawn from some of the arts organisations currently funded by the Baring Foundation. These illustrate some of the many ways in which the arts can make a difference: in rural locations or in the inner city, in a residential care home, a community or an arts venue, through reinventing the tradition of the tea dance for the 21st century or in a major new festival. (Edited publisher abstract)

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