Art for Ages is an ambitious programme of research that will investigate the role of musical experience in enhancing the physical and mental wellbeing of older adults in nursing homes in Southern Switzerland. Specifically, it will explore the function of music in the lives of older adults (Phase 1) and the psychological and physiological benefits of group music making on health and wellbeing (Phase 2). In short, the research seeks to establish the efficacy of music, compared with other physically and socially engaging activities, as a way of managing key medical, social and psychological conditions prevalent among older adults.
The data to be collected – from a sample of over 200 participants over two years – will enable new protocols to be written to guide the design and implementation of arts and other social interventions aimed at enhancing health and wellbeing among older adults. The focus of the research is on promoting health and preventing illness, and so direct comparisons will be made, scientifically and financially, with other preventative and non-preventative interventions. Our findings will be shared internationally with researchers, health professionals, policy makers and arts organisations to help enhance the quality and quantity of beneficial arts interventions delivered worldwide.