Creativity and ageing: the role of creativity in health and social care practice

Our research aims to make a difference in the quality of life and wellbeing of older people and those affected by dementia. We do this through developing new approaches for enhancing the skills of the dementia care workforce, researching the value of creative activities, and measuring their impact to demonstrate the benefits.


We ensure our work has real-world relevance through working in partnership with service providers in Wales. Successful partnerships include Denbigh Council Community Arts and Flintshire Council Social Services.

Key highlights:

  • We have published our work and presented to international audiences.
  • We have developed research-informed training for artists wanting to work in dementia care.
  • We have demonstrated a range of benefits from taking part in arts activities not only for the person living with dementia but also the staff, artists and family carers.
  • We have shown that taking part in a visual arts activity was better for well-being than just taking part in social activity, highlighting the unique contribution of the arts in dementia care.

One care home resident in our evaluation of cARTrefu noted “We are involved. We are doing something we want to do, not just plonked in the corner”.

Our arts and dementia research were selected as a case study for a recent (June 2018, p.12) hefcw (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales) report ‘Innovation National: On Common Ground’ to highlight our partnerships with local authorities and care homes in an article titled ‘Art, imagination, age and dementia’. This recognises the ‘civic mission’/community partnerships embedded in our research, from working in partnership with charities, private companies and local authorities.

The practitioners' guide and research from the Dementia and Imagination study were selected to be part of the new ‘Social care Wales resources for dementia professionals’ and feature in a specific section on ‘keeping up people’s hobbies’


Please contact Gill Windle:  if you want to know more about getting involved in our research.


For information on our past research please click on the following links:

Creativity and ageing

Resilience, well-being and 'healthy' ageing