Cherish the Old-Care for the Young

This Entry has been submitted.

Cherish the Old-Care for the Young: Arts for older people-Work for artists

Bray, IrelandBray
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Combining Lifestory and Lifemusic work to support person centred care approach in nursing homes. Person-centred care considers the whole person, taking into account each individual's unique qualities, abilities, interests, preferences and needs. It also means treating residents with dementia with dignity and respect. We support and train young artists with regular and meaningful work in care home communities.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

To simultaneously address the need for creative activities for seniors in care homes and the need for meaningful and regular work for young artists. Meaningful is defined as finding a sense of significance through mutually shared personal potentials, including sociability, creativity, the need to be with other human beings and a desire to know and be known by others. It also includes being open to experience, being trusting and trustworthy, being curious about the world, being creative and compassionate.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our project offers to combine the Lifemusic Method ( LM) developed by Dr. Rod Paton UK with Lifestory work ( LS) which originates in adoption and foster care work. The LM method is an instantly accessible musical tool which brings people into the moment, into the ‘here and now’ through creative improvisation, participation and communication promoting a sense of wellbeing. LS encourages people with or without dementia to think about, remember& share memories and reflections. These stories are then expressed through the music making. The growing care home sector has a legal obligation to provide life enhancing approaches in dementia care and this provides potential work for artists.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

“Hedda had gathered stories from residents at our various properties, poignant accounts of freedom and struggle. A lady shared her own story, her smile of pride was genuine, as Hedda showcased her. Stories& music included tales of escaping from Vietnam by boat. The effects on the residents were palpable. They relaxed and were deeply immersed in the sessions. One lady said she had never experienced anything as powerful as hearing her own story performed by someone else. " M.K.Taylor EngAge “The sight and sound of a woman profoundly disabled by two strokes, joyfully improvising and laughing through a shared improvisation is, in effect a form of knowledge but one that cannot usually be found in academic texts about music.” Rod Paton

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Delivering Lifemusic/Lifestory work as model of best practice within the care home sector in Ireland : Based on already existing knowledge described above the project can be delivered through four ‘aspects’. • A training programme designed to equip a range of artists with business and workshop leadership skills. • Workshops and performances delivered to a diverse range of nursing homes lead by Belmont House. • Research. The work will generate significant feedback, research data which will demonstrate the impact and beneficial effects of the model • Evaluation methods will be influenced by the so-called REAP metrix. (Pearce and Pearson with Cameron, University of Bradford,2006.) • Strengthening existing partnership with EngAge in the US and engaging with German project “House in the Park” by the Koerber Stiftung to evaluate adoption or replication of the idea.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In the south of Ireland an arts programme which works with hospital patients and day-care centre residents across West Cork and theatre projects with elderly patients and residents. The programme is expected to work with up to 400 people in 11 healthcare settings from 2013-2016.The project sees professional artists going into hospitals and day-care centres across the West Cork region to work on various music, art and theatre projects. The programme is funded through public funds. We take a unique and specific creative approach combining Lifestory and Lifemusic and our business model is focused on self-sufficiency, sustaining ourselves on internally generated cashflow.


A creative team. Hedda, Director of Klawitter will act as project manager and liaise with the nursing home and staff. She will be overseeing the event and plan the artistic involvement assisted by her administrator. Rod, Director of Lifemusic, provides workshops, training, methodology and research together with match funding. Klawitter performers and musicians who alredy have a knowledge and emphasis working in a care environment A facilitation team Belmont House management and staff providing space, time and information to facilitate residents with workshops Rod, in his role as an academic researcher at the University of Chichester will oversee the research and evaluation. Niall O’Brien, DCU ( Dublin City University ) student is currently working on a research project for Klawitter as part of the DCU Knowledge Exchange Programme.