How and where should we live as we get older?

Published: 20 October 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Doorbells: Dreaming for the Future

Skimstone Arts, Elders Council of Newcastle and Northumbria University present Doorbells: Dreaming for the Future, a new show featuring original live music exploring the critical decisions we make about how and where we live as we grow older.

The story centres on Kathleen, an ageing rocker whose zest for life has left her along with her ability to make a decision about where to live. Should she change her home or things in it? Is it time to downsize? Is she too young for sheltered accommodation? Can Daz, her long term friend and former band mate, help?

“New figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that 8 million people in the UK currently live alone,” Claire Webster Saaremets, Artistic Director at Skimstone Arts, told us. “Nearly half (48%) were 65 years of age or older and more than one in four (27%) were aged 75 and older. Doorbells: Dreaming for the Future aims to shine a spotlight on some of the many stories and research that people have shared, when making decisions about housing in later life, in a humorous and sensitive way. I hope the performance encourages people to talk more openly about some of the difficult decisions we all have to make about our lives.”

The tour:

  • Monday 25 October, 1:30 : St Anthony of Padua Community Association, Walker
  • Tuesday 26 October, 1:30 : Newcastle City Library
  • Tuesday 26 October, 7:00 : St Silas Church, Byker
  • Wednesday 27 October, 1:00 : Denton Burn Community Centre
  • Wednesday 27 October, 2:30 : Robert Stewart Memorial Hall, Fenham
  • Thursday 28 October, 11:00 : St Martin’s Centre, Byker
  • Friday 29 October, 4:00 & 7:00 : Chopwell Community Centre, Gateshead
  • Sunday 31 October, 4:00 : Dance City as part of Inspire Festival

After each performance, there will be a post-show Q&A and discussion about housing, access to information, changes in policy and what you need to consider when making a decision about where to live when you or your loved one grow older. Hosted by Northumbria University and Elders Council.

Event includes free post-show refreshments.

For more information and to book tickets visit the Skimstone Arts web site.

Skimstone Arts exists to support diverse artists, people and communities at risk of social isolation to create work with, for and about the world that matters to them. It is one of the North East’s leading companies for inclusive music-driven arts practice and social action.

Its approach is to co-create work with diverse artists, researchers and communities inspired by real stories and lived experiences which reflect current social narratives, challenges and inspirations faced in today’s diverse society.

The Elders Council of Newcastle, which has the mantra "Older people working for older people", is the forum for older people in the city. It provides a platform for older people to have a voice on issues which matter to them and raises issues which are of concern to older people with policy makers and service providers. Elders Council uses innovative approaches with older people, often through the arts. Elders Council has an extensive communications programme, keeping older people in the city informed.

Northumbria University's research looks at shaping interventions that have health, educational, behavioural, economic and social impacts at local, national and international levels.