What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
The UK has an ageing population. This makes it challenging to ensure our family, friends and neighbours – so many of us - will grow old in a dignified, happy and healthy way. There's such a drive to live longer but what if the quality of that extended life isn't good?
Music speaks directly to our hearts, accessing emotions and memories. There are neurological benefits to offering high quality music performance to older people demonstrated in research carried out in the field.
Neuroscientists encourage high cognitive lifestyles and dense social networks for a greater ability to cope with disease or injury.
This research proves the need for high quality cultural offers by competent, professional artists going in to care home settings.
Being culturally active has benefits on underlying psychological processes: happiness and health, stimulation, attention spans, social cohesion and a sense of identity.
There is a clear need for this!
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
There are over 23.2 million people aged 50 years and over, over a third of the total UK population. For the first time there are now more people of pensionable age than are under 18. Looking at Europe, one third of the population is 65 years or older, making Europe the world's fastest ageing continent.
What is your solution?
We want to introduce a new voice, an operatic one, to the use of creative arts to provide healing and inspiration to improve quality of life in care homes.
We want to bring beautiful music to people who can’t get out to hear it any more, and their carers and staff.
How will you deliver this?
Photo credits: Maurizio Bancone and others
Three of our performers engaging with older members of the community at recent soirees and concerts.
We are taking and testing the show in six different care home settings including: a dementia unit, a day care unit, a hospice, a hospital care unit and a home for retired performers.
The show will start in a quiet and informal way at tea time providing a soft and unthreatening entrance to the audiences engagement. There will be opportunities for them to join in or just sit back and listen.
We will evaluate the pilot so to plan a more ambitious tour for 2018 that reaches the venues who will most benefit from and enjoy the work. Our initial conversations with Care England and NAPA has confirmed that there is a definite nationwide appetite for this project.
We will also be holding a symposium at a country house in Wiltshire to showcase, and generate further debate about, what can be achieved by creative partnerships between the arts, health and social care sectors.
We are passionate about this!