Older people in Lincolnshire are turning to the arts to keep their minds and social lives active amid ongoing support in the area for art therapies.
Statistics produced by charity Age UK Mobility suggest that, by 2036, one in three people in Lincolnshire will be aged over 65. This average is disproportionately high when compared to the rest of the country.
But older people are taking to the arts to help combat diseases such as dementia as well as helping to fight lonliness, says Age UK and the Lincolnshire Arts and Crafts Collective.
Ron and Mandy Morris began glass fusing in their retirement. They said: “Mandy’s mum, Doris, has advanced dementia but take her into the workshop and she can concentrate and create some beautiful work.
“30 minutes later she might not remember doing any of the work. But the therapeutic benefits are very evident, she is more alert, it improves her concentration and it makes her happy.”
Helen Kemp, a Lincoln-based psychotherapist working for Supporting Minds, says: “There are quite a few benefits from getting involved in arts and crafts as an older person. For some, it can be a way of communicating when they have lost the power of speech. For others, it could be a great way to relax or stay focused on one task.
“While it has to be said there is very little scientific evidence supporting the use of the arts in this way, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence of how good it could be for someone.”
Ron and Mandy open their studio for lessons and private sessions. They say anyone from stressed professionals to retired people looking for an interesting hobby book the space.
Mr. Morris added: “We get all sorts, but they all have one thing in common: they love it here, and it helps them to relax and forget about their day jobs for a while. We think it’s great, and we’re happy to help where we can.”
Ron and Mandy Morris are members of the Lincolnshire Arts and Crafts Collective, which works to promote the sale of high-quality home-made crafts to sell at fairs around the county.
Lincoln’s Age UK charity held an age-inclusive talent show in October 2020. Organiser Katy Graham said the event took place after the charity released the help arts could give older people.
Graham, who admits issues of loneliness among the elderly is an ongoing battle in the county, added: “Art and crafts opportunities help older generations keep their minds active and help them to get involved in their communities.”
There are a number of arts and crafts opportunities on offer in Lincoln, including pottery painting studios and groups teaching residents of Lincolnshire how to paint, draw and create 3D pieces of art.
The county is also home to a network of trained psychiatrists practising creative arts therapies. To contact area-specific experts, visit Psychology Today to find individual contact details.