Sister hospitals in Clonakilty, Schull, Dunmanway Castletownbere and Skibbereen Community Hospital provide services which include acute care, rehabilitation, respite, palliative and continuing care. Other services, including activity programmes, are an integral part of the operating philosophy of a community hospital complex. There are over 76,000 people over the age of 65 in the Cork and Kerry region i.e. 12% of the total population. Nationally this is expected to rise to 1.4 million by 2041(CSO 2013). In the same period the number of people over 80 is expected to rise by 250%. Ageing on this scale is unprecedented in Irish history. At the same time the number of dependant older people is expected to rise. There are 194 patients cared for in the five community hospitals in West Cork. Bantry General Hospital provides for extra patients in long term care.
The Arts for Health Partnership Programme has become part and parcel of the activities in long stay units throughout. Working with the arts recognises and values the creativity of older people, enhances the self-worth and dignity of the participants as well as being a pleasurable experience.
Arts for Health helps us in our vision for the older adult of ‘Improving the health and quality of the life of the individuals and communities we serve’ as set out in Ageing with confidence – A strategy for the people of Cork & Kerry.
Arts for Health is an essential element in the social care needs of older adults in residential care and is an integral part of our activities programme which helps us to meet the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland as set out by the Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA). Standard number 16
Involvement in arts and cultured activities makes a difference to the quality of life of our residents. Arts for Health, is a large contributor to this. The programme stimulates our residents to express themselves through the medium of art, poetry and music. This is a new opportunity for most of our residents. The existence of an arts programme in community hospitals fulfils the requirement to meet HIQA