SCOTLAND’S care homes are being encouraged to support older people to enjoy and participate in the creative arts. 

That was the message from the Care Inspectorate, Scotland’s social care scrutiny and improvement body as it today launched a major campaign to ensure people living in care homes are able to enjoy the creative arts. Arts in Care front cover

A new resource, published today, will provide every care home in Scotland with educational tools, a DVD and hints and tips on working with professional artists. It aims to motivate and enable care staff to support those they care for to participate in the creative arts, either in a care home, or in their local community.

The project was delivered in partnership between the Care Inspectorate, Creative Scotland and Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival.

Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, who today helped to launch the new resource at Moncrieffe care home in Bridge of Earn, said:

“I am delighted to be launching the Arts in Care resource pack today. This fantastic initiative will help to give our older people who are living in care homes the opportunity to participate in the creative arts and reap the health and wellbeing rewards this provides.

“It is very important that people living in care homes have the opportunity to access creative activities and art is a wonderful way to bring people together around a shared passion. I hope this new resource will inspire and motivate staff to work with their residents and bring a touch of artistic flair to their lives.”

Karen Reid, the Care Inspectorate’s chief executive said: “The arts can be really important in maintaining and improving people’s health and wellbeing. Being creative can have a very positive impact on ageing and living well.

“Our new resource supports care home staff and other care professionals to develop skills and knowledge about the creative arts, providing new opportunities for older people in care homes.

“We hope it will help older people reignite a passion or experience something creative that they have always wanted to do. A care home is just that – a home where people should be able to enjoy doing the things that they really enjoy.

“Older people should be able to access high quality arts and creative activities whatever their abilities, circumstances and wherever they live, if that is what they wish. Some care homes will work with professional artists, and in others care staff will be able to support these creative activities.”

Anne Gallacher, Director of Luminate, said: "I am delighted that Luminate has worked with the Care Inspectorate on this new pack, which will help care home staff to provide arts opportunities for older people across Scotland.

“It showcases some exciting examples of creative activities in Scottish care homes, and highlights the huge benefits of these activities to participants. Creativity has no age, and this resource will help enable our oldest citizens to remain involved in the arts, to rediscover skills they may not have used for some time, or to try their hand at something new."

In many care homes for older people across Scotland staff organise and run creative arts sessions. The aim of the resource is to increase the ability of care providers to run a variety of participative arts sessions, realise people’s potential to engage in the arts and enable people to take part in the arts in the local community, should they choose to do that. Professional artists have shared their advice and creative skills to support residents in poetry, printmaking, creating simple pottery, singing, and creative dance.

The opportunity for care staff to learn about and share good practice and good news stories is seen as vitally important. This pack will enable them to share ideas about what works with other homes.

The resource is available here:

Notes to Editors

The Care Inspectorate worked in partnership with Luminate and a national working group to develop the resource. The working group included representatives from: Creative Scotland, the voluntary and independent sectors, Scottish Care, the Scottish Poetry Library, NHS – Perth and Kinross and professional artists.

There are 866 care homes for older people in Scotland.

The resource was launched today at Moncreiffe Care Home, Main Street, Bridge of Earn, Perthshire.

Luminate, Scotland's creative ageing festival, is a month-long festival which takes place annually in October. The festival celebrates our creativity as we age, shares stories of ageing and explores what growing older means to all of us. Each year there are activities all over Scotland - from art workshops and dance classes to music performances and author events. Find out more at