Description of initiative
The Frederiksberg Museums runs a lot of different programmes in the frame of art and health. They always work in partnerships with their local target group connoisseurs; healthcare centers, organizations etc. This project aims to combat loneliness and strengthen the social networks of the elderly. The Frederiksberg Museums have been doing this programme the last 10 years with an average of two 12-week courses per year. For each course it's the same eight participants. The course is based on stories and objects from the Frederiksberg Museums' collections, and can include music, old popular songs, photos, diary transcripts, letters and much more. In addition to the museum objects, they encourage participants to bring their own pictures and objects that complement the themes they work with. Each meeting has a theme that revolves around a phase of life. It can be childhood, marriage, working life, travel etc. The museum facilitator starts showing historical objects or telling stories connected to the theme and the participant is sharing their thoughts or personal memories. Sometimes it includes singing old popular songs together. The participants are recruited through a partnership with the local health center. Through their preventive home visits, they assess whether the individual may be socially isolated or lonely, after which they inform about the museums' social program and, if they are interested, enroll them. This collaboration secure them, that the target group is right. The typical participant is 75+ years, living alone, have lost their spouse, or has recently moved to the area. They have been working in this field from more than ten years, and have integrated art and health in their dissemination strategy.
Themes: Culture and...
Sources of funding
Results, benefits, impact and lessons learnt
A few years back the health center made an quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the program. It showed that a little more than 50% of the participants continued to meet regularly up to several years after the completion of the intervention. It also showed that it had a positive significance that the intervention took place in a museum rather than in the municipality's premises. This meant that it was the community of interest around art and cultural history that bound people together and not the diagnosis of loneliness.
They have not yet succeeded in obtaining municipal operating support for the project, which means that every year they have to apply for funding externally. Unfortunately, this also means that the health center's employees cannot always promise a place on the course until the organizers are sure of the funding.