To measure program effectiveness, the project team offered an anonymous survey to participants that asked them to provide feedback on their experience and satisfaction with the program. Virtual focus groups were also held at the end of the sessions with the project team and the artists to evaluate the program and to identify strengths, opportunities for improvement and the overall sustainability of offering a similar program in the future. The distance that clients would have needed to travel for this program if virtual access was not available was also tracked.
Alleviating social isolation
While the pandemic altered both program delivery and recruitment, and decreased the expected participation, overall the program was a success. Even the small number of attendees represented a significant impact on saved travel time and cost.
Collectively, the participants would have had to travel 3,836 kilometres (return) if they had attended in-person art sessions. It is the hope that art-based projects like this will continue to be explored as an option for improving older adult social isolation and positively benefiting health.