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.
This chapter analyses data from a large-scale, mixed methods project wherein groups of people with dementia were invited to take part in visual arts activities. It assesses how visual arts enrichment activities might play a role in the resilience of people in later life living with dementia in care homes, through the development or preservation of narrative identities. The respondents demonstrated narrative intelligence that was expressed through the poem and the theatrical poses. Both of the activities supported the resilience of those who took part through facilitating narrative expression, for which those living in care homes often have few opportunities. The forms of narrative involved focused on the present and demonstrated that those with dementia were capable of creativity. Ultimately, this work contributes to thinking about the nature of narrative care, suggesting new approaches that help those in care institutions to retain their existing and develop new identities, facilitating narrative openness and resilience.