On 14th October, the Arts in Care conference was held in Perth Concert Hall. It was an excellent event, run jointly by Animate and Scottish Care and chaired with a light but efficient touch by Sally Magnusson. The keynote speeches were excellent and very heartening – with a general message that care homes should be ‘a creative place to live – not a place to be detained until you die’ (Ranald Mair).
Anne Hendry from JIT spoke about the Active and Healthy Ageing Action Plan and the various well-known benefits of activity and participation for older people. It was gratifying that she referred to FiOP three or four times in her account of how JIT supports creative approaches to ageing!
During the question session, Sally Magnusson asked her what barriers might prevent a full adoption of arts in care homes, and without hesitation Anne Hendry replied ‘risk and the perception of risk’. As our followers will know, we recently organised a workshop on Risk and Resilience (see our earlier post), and clearly this was a subject which chimed with the audience. A debate ensued on the perils of risk-aversity (is that a word? I’ve just coined it!) with reference to ageism and disempowerment. The message from the Joint Improvement Team, I’m delighted to report, is ‘take the risk and proceed till apprehended! Seek absolution, not permission.’ Amen to that.