People are living longer. But how can we make sure we live well as we age?

Globally, life expectancy has gradually increased over the last two centuries. While this can be viewed as a positive outcome of medical and economic developments during this time, living longer doesn't necessarily mean living well. Cultivating and supporting wellbeing in older age is one of the pressing issues of our time.

Research on engagement in creative and artistic activities has repeatedly shown that they can bring multiple and varied wellbeing benefits, including for older people. A UK report from 2017 titled Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing includes over a thousand references to scholarly literature and evidence outlining the range of social, psychological, physical and economic benefits that creativity and the arts can bring. Yet many continue to view the arts as a merely decorative and disposable aspect of human life. And, new technologies are also providing new opportunities and forms of creativity which we are yet to fully understand. Further work into how creativity and the arts can support wellbeing in older age is therefore needed.

This virtual symposium on "Creative Ageing" presents five recorded presentations (approx. 10 mins each) by researchers associated with the Creativity and Wellbeing Hallmark Research Initiative (CAWRI) who are exploring the question of how creativity can help improve wellbeing in older age. It concludes with a snapshot of creative ageing projects funded by CAWRI. We hope you enjoy these presentations and please contact the CAWRI team or the researchers themselves if you have any questions, comments or feedback.

To watch the first presentation, click here.

Photograph by Dusan Pantelic