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Age is no barrier to the digital arts

25 Oct 2018

The Age Friendly domain ‘Social Participation’ looks at how older people in Bristol can access activities when and where they want them. By developing an app that brings the gallery to the older person, art galleries become accessible. 

Case study provided by Armchair Gallery

"Older people often find it difficult to get out to see or participate in arts and cultural activities, and even more so those living in care homes. We believe digital arts have an important role in creative ageing, with both the potential to reduce the digital divide by introducing technology to older people in a non-threatening and playful way and to increase participation through remote access to the arts.

Created by City Arts - Nottingham, Armchair Gallery is a new app for iOS and Android, due for release in autumn 2018. The app brings world-class art and culture into the home and is designed specifically for older people and people living with dementia.

Working in partnership with arts practitioner Claire Ford, we have developed a particular model of practice regarding the facilitation of practical workshops with older people using the app. The app features artworks and artefacts from seven cultural venues and heritage sites that include Chatsworth House, Pitt Rivers Museum, Newstead Abbey, National Trust’s Mr Straw’s House, The Lowry, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Dulwich Picture Gallery. The Armchair Gallery app also includes guides for creative activities (in the How-To section) to enable care home staff and health professionals to facilitate group or one-to-one sessions with older people. The app can also be used by individuals, family members and carers supporting older people, artists and health and education professionals.

City Arts offers a training programme on the use of the app with further information on how to effectively engage people living with dementia using multi-sensory approaches. In September we ran a training session in Bristol, supported by Bristol Ageing Better."

For more information visit and

Contact Kate Duncan, Programme Director – Wellbeing



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