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A Community-Engaged Art Program for Older People: Fostering Social Inclusion*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Elaine Moody
Affiliation:
The University of British Columbia
Alison Phinney*
Affiliation:
The University of British Columbia
*
Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to / La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à: Alison Phinney, R.N., Ph.D. Associate Professor, School of Nursing University of British Columbia T201-2211 Wesbrook Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5 (alison.phinney@nursing.ubc.ca)

Abstract

Social inclusion is an important factor in promoting optimum health and wellness for older adults. Community-engaged arts (CEA) have been promoted as a means to support social inclusion for this population, but little empirical evidence has been reported. The objective of this study was to explore the role of a CEA program in the social inclusion of older, community-dwelling adults. Sixteen hours of participant observation, nine interviews, and document analyses were conducted with 20 older adults participating in the Arts, Health and Seniors (AHS) Program in Vancouver. Results indicated that the program supported seniors’ capacity to connect to community in new ways by helping them forge connections beyond the seniors centre. Participants also developed a stronger sense of community through collaboration as a group, working together on the arts project towards a final demonstration to the larger community. The results suggest that CEA programs contribute to social inclusion for older people.

Résumé

L’inclusion sociale est un facteur important pour promouvoir la santé optimale et le bien-être des personnes âgées. Les arts communautaires engagés (ACE) ont été promus comme moyen de soutenir l’inclusion sociale des personnes âgées, mais peu de preuves empiriques ont été rapportées. Le but de cette étude était d’explorer le rôle d’un programme de l’ACE dans la promotion de l’inclusion sociale des personnes âgées résidant dans la communauté. Seize heures d’observation des participants, neuf entretiens et des analyses de documents ont été menées auprès de 20 aînés au programme Arts, Santé et Aînés (ASA) Projet de Vancouver. Les résultats ont indiqué que le programme a soutenu la capacité des personnes âgées à développer des relations dans la communauté par de nouveaux moyens en les aidant à nouer des liens au-delà du centre pour personnes âgées. Les participants ont également développé un sentiment plus fort d’appartenance à la communauté grâce à la collaboration en tant que groupe, travaillant ensemble sur le projet artistique pour produire une présentation finale à l’ensemble de la communauté. Les résultats suggèrent que l’ACE contribue à l’inclusion sociale des personnes âgées.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2012

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Footnotes

*

We are grateful for academic support from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for this project.

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