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Good morning,

In the Ontario Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Program's evidence-based report, Building Connections: Promising Practices to Reduce Older Adult Social Isolation for Age-Friendly Community Initiativesmitigating social isolation was categorized into five categories: Technology, Social Interaction, Education, Physical Activity, and Arts.

Over a series of five newsletters, we will share a curated reading list for each category to build awareness, connections, and promising practices to reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults. If you are planning a local program, looking for inspiration, or building a business case to support your work, this puts the evidence in your hands!

This fifth and final issue highlights some of the literature published between 2016 and 2022 exploring the use of Arts to mitigate social isolation and loneliness in older adults. 

Kind regards,
Emily Mullins
Emily Mullins
Knowledge Broker, Centre for Studies in Aging and Health at Providence Care

 Community of Interest on Social Isolation and Loneliness Reading List:  

The topics discussed below include arts, art therapy, loneliness and hopelessness, intergenerational art-based experiences, art museums, social connectedness, psychological well-being, visual arts program, art making, art intervention, depression in older adults, review of outcomes, expressive arts therapy, and the quality of life of older adults.
The Benefits of Intergenerational Arts-Based Experiences for Older Adults: A Review of the Literature
Older adults may experience feelings of isolation and worthlessness as they undergo major life changes that disrupt their former sense of self. This literature review discusses the significance of applying intergenerational arts-based experiences for older adults with those of a younger generation.
Art Therapy Used as a Tool to Improve Loneliness, Social Connectedness, and Well-Being with Older Adults
This mixed methods study explored the benefits of art therapy and mindfulness-based practices and whether a change in loneliness, social connectedness, and well-being can be attributed to demographic or other variables.
The Meaning of a Visual Arts Program for Older Adults in Complex Residential Care
This qualitative study examines the experiences of older adults participating in a creative visual arts program at a residential care facility in Victoria, British Columbia. The study highlights the need to increase access to arts programs for individuals living in residential care.
Art Making and Expressive Art Therapy in Adult Health and Nursing Care: A Scoping Review
Receptive art engagement promotes health and well-being; however, art engagement has yet to be fully explored in health and nursing care. This review sought to describe the existing knowledge of art making and expressive art therapy in adult health and nursing care.
Creative Arts Interventions to Address Depression in Older Adults: A Systematic Review of Outcomes, Processes, and Mechanisms
Creative arts interventions, including art, dance movement, drama, and music modalities, target depression and depressive symptoms in older adults. This systematic review sought to examine the outcomes of four creative art modalities (art, dance movement, drama, and music), with particular attention paid to processes documented as contributing change in each modality and mechanisms considered to result from these processes.

The Effect of Group Art Therapy on Loneliness and Hopelessness Levels of Older Adults Living Alone: A Randomized Controlled Study
This randomized controlled study aimed to test group art therapy using clay as a medium to cope with feelings of loneliness and hopelessness in older adults.

If you know of any  Arts programs being offered in your community to reduce social isolation and loneliness of older adults, please email details to to have them added to our inventory. 


Building Connections: Promising Practices to Reduce Older Adult Social Isolation for Age-Friendly Community Initiatives

Findings From A Literature Review on Social Isolation, Loneliness and Older Adults During COVID-19

UN Decade of Healthy Ageing Advocacy Brief: Social isolation and Loneliness Among Older People
About the Ontario Age-Friendly Communities (AFC) Outreach Program

The Outreach Program is funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility and managed by the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health at Providence Care in partnership with Queen’s University.

The Outreach Program aims to raise awareness about AFCs, facilitate connectedness within and between communities, and increase the capacity for local planning and implementation of age-friendly initiatives. The Outreach Program builds on and complements Ontario's Creating a more inclusive Ontario: age-friendly community planning guide for municipalities and community organizations.

The Outreach Program helps communities, including recipients of Ontario’s AFC Planning Grant: increase awareness of age-friendly planning principles; share best practices; and start, continue, evaluate and improve on their AFC action plans.
Stay Connected!
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Contact Emily Mullins, the Ontario AFC Knowledge Broker.
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