Ageing well

Bring on the health economists: time for a rigorous evaluation of senior participative arts


Purpose – As our elderly population increases, scheduled to rise by 61 per cent in the next 20 years, a national
panic has set in about what to do. Antidepressant use is on the rise, and the figures for loneliness and depression
skyrocketing. So far, so normal and so very disheartening. The purpose of this paper is to make a radical plea
to change our thinking about how the lives of our senior citizens are lived: bring on the health economists, and
let us put some serious funding into studying the effects of participative arts on the lives of older people.

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Supported using public funding by the Arts Council England