Struggling to cope - New Age UK report

Age UK has included the arts in a new checklist of top tips for older people and those around them, on how to avoid mental ill health as they age, and how to get to a better place again if this happens. The checklist was developed in response to a piece of qualitative research into the lives of older people who acknowledged they were struggling with their mental wellbeing.

The research found that almost one and half million over-65s feel that what happens in their life is determined by factors beyond their control. Almost a million say that their life rarely or never has any meaning. It looked at what older people and their carers and professionals could do to improve life. The report notes: “One finding emerging from the research was that even people who were at an extremely low ebb could take pleasure in activities such as photography, drawing and crafts. This chimes with the findings of Age UK’s Wellbeing Index, which found that the single biggest contributor to wellbeing is ‘creative and cultural participation’. We would very much like to see more opportunities to enjoy these activities made available for the older people who are in the greatest need of them, and peer support to help others to keep up their interests.”