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Wellbeing for older people - intergenerational collaboration with well-maker-spaces


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A presentation at the Making Futures Conference 2017 in Plymouth. The topic is how can maker community and makerspaces collaborate with care settings and other parties in the community to ensure access to meaningful creative activities for people of all ages.

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Wellbeing for older people - intergenerational collaboration with well-maker-spaces

  1. 1. WELLBEING FOR OLDER PEOPLE – INTERGENERATIONAL COLLABORATION WITH WELL- MAKING SPACES Mari Salovaara Craft Teacher / Adult Education Institute Helsinki PhD Student / University of Helsinki
  2. 2. I’M GOING TO TALK ABOUT… 1. How engaging in craft activities can enhance the wellbeing (of older people) 2. Erasmus+ project Handmade Wellbeing in 2015-2017 3. Challenges during the project 4. How to tackle the challenges: collaboration? 5. Examples from Finland
  3. 3. ENGAGING IN CRAFT ACTIVIES  Pleasure from multisensory making  Cognitive challenge & accomplishment  Relaxation and / or flow experiences  Empowerment: being active and in control  Distraction from negative thoughts  Positive identity in old age (Liddle, Parkinson, & Sibbritt, 2013; Nurtures mental life Photo: Carolina Mobarac
  4. 4. ENGAGING IN CRAFT ACTIVIES  Ageing causes inevitable decline for example in brain and hand function  Both are essential in coping with activities of daily life  Making things by hand enhances and sustains hand function  Brain health can be sustained through challenging the brain regularly with activities and new experience  Brain creates new synapses and develops as a result of use  this neuroplasticity remains even in old age! (Carmeli, Coleman, & Patish, 2003; Kandel et al., 2013a; Kandel et al., 2013b; Woodruff-Pak, D. S., & Hanson, C., 1995; Verghese et al., 2003) Supports physical health
  5. 5. ENGAGING IN CRAFT ACTIVIES  Observing the physical environment for finding inspiration  Influencing the environment through making  Encourages social participation through shared interests and making things together (Liddle, Parkinson, & Sibbritt, 2013; Maidment & Macfarlane, 2011; Pöllänen, Strengthens connections to the wider world Photo: Sandra Urvak
  6. 6. HANDMADE WELLBEING PROJECT The aim: to enhance professional competences of arts and crafts practitioners to facilitate craft activities in elderly care contexts Four European partners: Finland, UK, Austria, Estonia The partners conducted arts and crafts workshops in their respective countries and provided training for facilitators and other partners Best practices of facilitating arts and crafts workshops for older people were reflected and developed collaboratively Intergenerational workshops were very pleasant and rewarding for all; it is important to have contact with people of different ages Being together was most important
  7. 7. CHALLENGE: FACILITATORS  Usually activities are run by care staff, who may have experience of creative activities. Or not.  Limits the possibilities  Also individual arts and crafts experts deliver activities  Usually they are not hired, but instead apply for funding to run projects  Working alone, lack of community Photo: Carolina Mobarac
  8. 8. CHALLENGE: TOOLS AND MATERIALS  Not much available in care settings  Limited budget to buy any materials  Limits the possibilities  Usually, the facilitator brings the materials (and finds funding) Photo: Sandra Urvak
  9. 9. CHALLENGE: SUITABLE SPACE  Special activities rooms are rare in care settings  We ran workshops in dining rooms, balcony, hall etc  Setting up and cleaning up the space is a huge workload  Limits the possibilities Photo: Sandra Urvak
  10. 10. COLLABORATION: MAKERSPACES & CARE SETTINGS? Sharing expertise, ideas, knowledge Joint activities, expert facilitators Sharing materials, tools, spaces Makerspace located near a care setting, mobile makerspaces Intergenerational communication Photo: Carolina Mobarac
  11. 11. EXAMPLES FROM FINLAND Separate makerspaces for retired and young people In some care settings, there is a space for making crafts Free for retired and unemployed people Not marketed for young people Budget cuts: not really possible to offer guided activities anymore Separate makerspaces for young people under 30 Photo: Sandra Urvak
  12. 12. EXAMPLES FROM FINLAND Unemployed young people keep a café in a care setting Working trial periods for young unemployed people without education They can try out working in different settings to see if it would be suitable for them One option is a café which is located in a care setting Very good feedback, older residents love to see young people
  13. 13. EXAMPLES FROM FINLAND Young people living in care settings Possible to rent a flat in a care home Cheap rent (Netherlands: free!) They commit to arrange activities in the care setting, e.g. 20 h / month Very good feedback from all parties
  14. 14. A WELL-MAKING SPACE? Offers opportunities for high quality creative activities Offers opportunities for being together and interaction A diverse community Photo: Sandra Urvak
  15. 15. REFERENCES Carmeli, E., Patish, H., & Coleman, R. (2003). The Aging Hand. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 58 (2), 146–152. Kandel, E. R., Schwartz, J. H., Jessell, T. M., Siegelbaum, S. A., Hudspeth, A. J., & Mack, S. (Eds.). (2013a). From Nerve Cells to Cognition: The Internal Representations of Space and Action. In Principles of neural science (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education LLC. Kandel, E. R., Schwartz, J. H., Jessell, T. M., Siegelbaum, S. A., Hudspeth, A. J., & Mack, S. (Eds.). (2013b). Nerve Cells, Neural Circuitry, and Behavior. In Principles of neural science (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education LLC. Liddle, J. L. M., Parkinson, L., & Sibbritt, D. W. (2013). Purpose and pleasure in late life: Conceptualising older women’s participation in art and craft activities. Journal of Aging Studies, 27 (4), 330–338. Maidment, J., & Macfarlane, S. (2011). Crafting Communities: Promoting Inclusion, Empowerment, and Learning between Older Women. Australian Social Work, 64 (3), 283–298. Pöllänen, S. (2013). The meaning of craft: Craft makers’ descriptions of craft as an occupation. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 20 (3), 217–227. Reynolds, F. (2010). “Colour and communion”: Exploring the influences of visual art-making as a leisure activity on older women’s subjective well-being., Journal of Aging Studies, 24 (2), 135–143. Verghese, J. et al. (2003). Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly. The New England journal of medicine, 348 (25), 2508–2516. Woodruff-Pak, D. S., & Hanson, C. (1995). Plasticity and compensation in brain memory systems in aging. In R. A. Dixon, & L. Backman (Eds.), Compensating for psychological deficits and declines: Managing losses and promoting
  16. 16. THANK YOU! Contact me: Handmade Wellbeing project website Photo: Titta Kärnä