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Published on 11 August 2017 12:00 PM

Family Arts - Age Friendly

The Family Arts Campaign has announced the launch of its new Age-Friendly Standards, which provide clear guidance for cultural organisations welcoming older family members. There are already 65 early adopters of the Age-Friendly Standards including The MAC Belfast.

The Standards are designed to complement the existing Family Arts Standards which codify good practice in welcoming families, and are currently held by over 500 UK cultural organisations. The Age-Friendly Standards provide specific guidance on welcoming older people, and displaying this new logo affirms that an organisation has considered the often more complex needs of older visitors.

The development of the Age-Friendly Standards is a response to reported trends which indicated a significant drop-off in cultural engagement in later life, due to multiple barriers which older people may encounter. The Standards support a major new ‘Celebrating Age’ fund launched this year by Arts Council England which aims to support cultural spaces to be open, positive and welcoming places for older people.

The significant opportunity for arts and culture to play a role in enhancing quality of life for older people is further reflected in Age UK’s 2017 Index of Wellbeing in Later Life which reports ‘Creative and cultural participation’ to be the most prominent indicator to wellbeing in later life, scoring highest amongst a large range of contributing factors.

The Age Friendly Standards address five key areas when welcoming older audiences:

  1. Building relationships
  2. Considering suitable programming
  3. Providing appropriate facilities
  4. Communicating appropriately
  5. Providing a warm welcome

The Age-Friendly Standards apply to any type of cultural experience, from museums, concert halls, libraries and art galleries, to dance companies, theatre groups, music ensembles and festivals.

Jenny Daly, Head of the Family Arts Campaign said: 'Older people are an important part of the family, with multiple generations living side by side. Arts and culture contribute significantly to a positive experience of later life, as well as providing a means to connect young and old. The Age-Friendly Standards signify an important shift for the Family Arts Campaign in supporting the cultural sector to facilitate these experiences.'

Organisations can sign up to the Age-Friendly Standards for free at familyarts.co.uk/age-friendly

Further information

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575