As a sector we are starting to embrace the opportunities that an ageing population brings and celebrate it to dispel negative perceptions of ageing. Age shouldn’t be a barrier to engagement or participation in culture though the 2016 Arts Council England’s Older People Poll about arts and culture revealed that of older people aged over 65, 38% said that it is more difficult to attend or take part in arts and cultural events or activities now compared to when they were younger.
The Mendoza Review highlighted that in 2016-17, engagement rates for people aged 25–74 were around 55%, compared to 35% for those over 75.
In 2018-19, MDNW ran an Age Friendly Accessibility Programme with six museums across the region. The museum teams attended workshops, used the Family Arts Campaign’s Age-Friendly Standards self-assessment checklist, and ran focus groups to look at current practice and how they could be more age-friendly.
Each participating museum received a small amount of seed funding from MDNW and the Age Friendly Museums Network to help them start to implement some of the recommendations that came from the assessments and focus groups.
MDNW has developed an e-publication that aims to help other museums think about their offer to older people. It comprises the Age-Friendly Standards self-assessment checklist from the Family Arts Campaign, with some modifications to make it more bespoke to the museum sector and case studies from the six museums that participated in our programme.
There is also a checklist-only version with additional functionality so it can be completed electronically.
They can be downloaded below and will also be available on our Publications page from the 20th September 2019.