A new resource that supports health and social care professionals to use museum collections as part of a care practice when working with older people has been launched by Northumbria University.
Created in partnership with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM), the resource provides advice and guidance for health and social care professionals on how the collections can be used to support a range of healthy ageing and rehabilitation needs.
It suggests varied heritage activities and identifies how they could specifically support quality of life, health and wellbeing in older people, such as pain management, cognitive stimulation or social interaction.
The vision to create the resource was shared by Dr Juliana Thompson, Associate Professor of Adult Nursing at Northumbria University, and museum outreach professional Zoë Brown.
Dr Thompson explained: “The ultimate aim of the project is to use museum resources and collections to support quality of life improvements for older people.
“Our progress so far has led to the development of this set of activities that will support health and social care professionals to use TWAM’s collection to support a range of healthy ageing and rehabilitation needs.”
Zoë Brown, outreach Officer for Adult Health, Social Care and Wellbeing programmes at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums is currently working with care homes and organisations supporting older people in North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead and South Tyneside.
She said: “After working on heritage themed creative projects with older adults alongside health and social care professionals for many years, I wanted to help support more professionals to feel confident to facilitate their own heritage projects by sharing resources, skills and linking specific activities with clinical health and care outcomes.”
A multi-disciplinary team of health and social care practitioners and academics from Northumbria University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences are part of a steering group created to oversee the project.
Specialising in occupational therapy, physiotherapy, mental health nursing, social work, and older people’s nursing, the project team cross-referenced specific cultural activities that the TWAM outreach team were delivering to participants as part of their four health and wellbeing programmes.
Click here to download the Museums, Health and Social Care Service resource.