Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation, is launching a programme of online creative activities for older people who are isolated in the current COVID-19 outbreak. It will be called Luminate@Home.

Every Tuesday and Friday for the near future, a new short film will be posted online at 2pm to inspire and guide older people through a creative activity that can be done at home or in a care home. The activities will be presented by professional artists who work regularly with older people in community and care settings, and will feature different artforms including crafts, poetry, music and dance. The aim is to help people stay engaged and active until the crisis has passed.

The first film will be shown at 2pm on Tuesday 24 March, and will be a craft activity led by visual artist Christine
Hilditch, using recycled materials that everyone will have to hand. Then on Friday 27 March dancer and choreographer Chris Stuart will lead an online dance session, featuring entertaining routines that can be done at your own pace, or seated if that works best. The films will remain online for anyone to use.

Luminate Director Anne Gallacher talked about the importance of the initiative:

“Luminate has seen at first-hand the power of creativity to impact on loneliness and isolation. The effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on our older people is huge, and I sincerely hope that Luminate@Home will in some way brighten the days
of older people who find themselves secluded at home. I also hope that our social care colleagues – who are working so hard to support residents in care homes across Scotland – find the films a valuable and enjoyable resource to share. I am very grateful to the artists who are collaborating with us, and who have responded with such enthusiasm and imagination to the challenge of creating these films at a distance.”

Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive of Scottish Care agreed.

“I am absolutely delighted to support Luminate@Home. The ‘shielding’ which has been necessary to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens in care homes and in the community inevitably means that people are going to feel isolated and shut off from family, friends and their communities. Anything which helps to reduce the fear and anxiety of isolation, to create a bridge to the outside world; anything which helps people to remain active and creative is to be hugely welcomed.”

Each artist will make their film in their own home. Filmmaker Graeme Roger will be giving advice on the filming process. All the artists involved are missing the regular contact they normally have with older people and are excited to find new ways to continue to share their creativity.

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