The festive season is a great time to support older people to enjoy and participate in the creative arts.

That is the message from the Care Inspectorate, Scotland’s social care scrutiny and improvement body as part of a campaign to ensure people living in care homes are able to enjoy the creative arts.

The Care Inspectorate has published a resource which 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.

Karen Reid, the Care Inspectorate’s chief executive said: “Christmas is a time for families to come together and many people will be spending quality time with their loved ones who live in a care setting.

“The arts can be really important in maintaining and improving people’s health and wellbeing and being creative can have a very positive impact on ageing and living well.

“Our 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 would encourage everyone to remember that the holidays are a great time to engage in creative activity.

“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.”

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: http://cinsp.in/arts-in-care