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  • Author or Editor: Anna Goulding x
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This article contributes to conversations about co-production by examining a voluntary sector organisation’s programme of work aiming to help develop age-friendly places. Using perspectives from older people and voluntary sector professionals involved in the project at both a strategic management and local level, this study examines two key issues. First, it develops understandings of co-production by examining the precise ways in which rhetoric is reflected in practice with a project operating across a number of age-friendly domains and working with different sectors. Specifically, it examines the tensions involved in transferring power to community actors, yet managing the process to ensure older people are supported in developing projects that involve and are representative of their wider population. Second, in assessing the role of the voluntary sector in negotiating cross-sector partnerships, it contributes to debates around the role of the voluntary sector in service delivery during reduced public spending.

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This chapter evaluates data from a cultural animation workshop and qualitative interviews with a range of older people to understand their conceptualisation of resilience and the strategies they have used to overcome challenges experienced throughout the lifecourse. The participants felt that resilience was a useful term to describe their response to the challenges that they had encountered. They distinguished between emotional and practical resilience and tended to see it as an individual trait, albeit one that could be developed. The participants also expressed anxiety when anticipating whether they would be equipped to cope with challenges in the future. Discussions about strategies that participants used to overcome difficulties were particularly revealing. In contrast to the data gathered through interviews, using cultural animation methods provided a way for participants who were less confident or less able to express themselves verbally in a formal interview format to articulate their perspectives on resilience.

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This introductory chapter provides an overview of the relationship between taking part in different forms of creative and cultural practice and the development of resilience in older people. There are significant challenges associated with old age and, as a response, policy initiatives have been developed which focus on reducing social isolation, improving well-being, and creating dementia-friendly communities. The chapters in this book provide crucial support for such initiatives by reporting findings that enhance understanding of how cultural engagement can develop both individual and community resilience. Indeed, through critically examining the meaning and value of creative engagement in later life, this book brings vital new understandings to the field of cultural gerontology.

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This chapter explores how and why older people construct narrative identities in response to encounters with contemporary visual art. The respondents rejected the negative characteristics they associated with being old and articulated a more positive counter narrative associated with active and involved older people. The narratives they constructed were also inflected by meta-narratives of family, class and the history of north-east England. This work has implications for arts and cultural policy suggesting that more emphasis be placed on how artworks are consumed. It also provides a greater understanding of the value of arts engagement for older people.

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Creativity, culture and community

Understanding how creative interventions can help develop social connectivity and resilience for older people is vital in developing a holistic cross-sector approach towards ageing well.

Academics with a wide range of expertise critically reflect on how the built environment, community living, cultural participation, lifelong learning, and artist-led interventions encourage older people to thrive and overcome both challenging life events and the everyday changes associated with ageing.

The book uses a range of approaches, including participatory research methods, to bring the voices of older people themselves to the foreground. It looks at how taking part in creative interventions develops different types of social relationships and fosters resilience.

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This chapter discusses the narratives of ageing, looking at how older people can reflect on their lives and explore new opportunities. This concern with how older people represent themselves, and are represented by others, is a relatively new one in gerontology. On the other hand, images of old age and especially ageing bodies have such a powerful and largely negative impact on social attitudes to older people. The NDA authors seek to challenge this point of view by developing transformative narratives through participation in a range of arts-related activities including reading, art appreciation, community arts, and photography. This chapter examines five path-breaking NDA projects where older people actively engaged with the dominant cultural narratives of ageing. It also explores more positive and personally enriching narratives which demonstrate creativity and opened up numerous new possibilities for them.

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This chapter presents a comprehensive introduction to the major gerontological topic of participation and social connectivity based on eleven separate NDA projects. Looking at Brazil, India, and South Africa, the chapter begins with a summary of the critical importance of participation to health and well-being in later life. It challenges negative stereotypes of ageing and older people, such as declining participation. It shows that older people do participate and are often tenacious in this but they are often confronted with multiple barriers that prevent them from doing so. The chapter concludes by citing examples on how to improve meaningful participation in later life, which ranges from community arts to literature.

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This chapter discusses the various aspects of health and well-being in later life that were studied by fourteen different NDA projects. The first part of this chapter examines some of the key concepts in this field, including quality of life and subjective well-being. It focuses on the barriers to healthy ageing and good quality of life in old age. These include economic barriers, physiological effects, limits to mobility, barriers to paid employment, and psychosocial barriers. The second half of the chapter looks at interventions to support well-being and healthy ageing. Drawing on the extensive testing of models by the NDA projects, the chapter focuses on six different types of intervention: financial, pharmacological, physical (exercise), environmental (blue light and OWL), community music making, and engagement with art.

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