Age Friendly Museums Day, meeting the challenge of involving Care Home residents

The British Museum is hosting an event for residents of care homes this year as a part of their Age Friendly Museums Day celebration on Sunday 9th October. Preparing for the event has been more of a challenge this year as care homes have less care staff, or activity co-ordinators employed on a Sunday.Tracking down those homes which are enthusiastic  – and have staff prepared to give up their weekend – has been quite time consuming.

But they are getting there, and so far have recruited  7 care homes who will be taking residents along. Simply looking online for local care homes, picking up the phone and talking to the activity co-ordinator or the manager seems to be the best way to get them on board. Nothing beats the personal phone call. Nightingale House in Balham,London for example, is one of the largest homes in the UK and their Head of Activities Alistair Addison was so keen he booked their minibus immediately. Of course many homes do not have their own transport but they can book an accessible minibus through their local Community Transport service or organise taxis.

Museums across the country are invited to celebrate Age Friendly Museums Day, and it doesn’t need to be as challenging. They can simply invite older people into an exhibition for free or provide free refreshments, promote an existing activity or, like the British Museum organise a special  event with older audiences.

The Network has teamed up with Silver Sunday this year to promote the Day so a museum can submit an event which will be on the Silver Sunday website. The event can be either Silver Sunday (8th October) or an Age Friendly Museums Day event (first week of October – or thereabouts!). Follow the link to sign up.

This is the second year the British Museum has put on the event for care home residents.. Last year there were around 55 participants on the day, who enjoyed a handling session, talked to curators, had a look around the galleries,  joined in some Breton dancing and visited the ‘Celts: art and identity’ exhibition. Lets hope they wow them again this year!


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