You can't teach an old dog new tricks, or so the old saying goes. As we grow older we may get used to listening to classical music when relaxed, or perhaps jazz. Whatever our preference, it becomes harder and harder to really enjoy music that is not our cup of tea. One of my very close friends spent the final year or two of her life in her care home organising petitions and protest sit-ins in an attempt to make sure that Radio 4 was on in the day room of her care home at certain times of the day. She died still planning her next sit-in!
This TED talk by Yvonne van Amerongen is truly inspirational. The ethos of her state-funded ‘dementia village’ in the Netherlands recognises wholeheartedly that the habits of a lifetime can and should be recognised and respected, especially in old age. Everyone involved in the care of the elderly and the mentally frail should view this talk and do all that they can to modify their care offering to the people dependent upon them. Anything less should now be considered to be poor practice.
I see the most creative future for everyone involved in "arts and health" lies in the emerging "libraries and health" partnership developments that are now taking shape. In fact I am now completely convinced that the GP within the NHS has no enjoyable or creative future until the arts led "libraries and health" partnership work is understood, valued and firmly supported in every possible way by both GPs and Librarians across the whole of the UK. Community Arts people are in a very strong position to lead this much needed transformation of both GP practice and the Community Library Service.