Habits of a Lifetime: Museum Visitation Amongst Older Australians
AuthorTemple, J; Gan, L
Source TitleJournal of Population Ageing
PublisherSPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsTemple, J. & Gan, L. (2020). Habits of a Lifetime: Museum Visitation Amongst Older Australians. JOURNAL OF POPULATION AGEING, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12062-020-09304-4.
Access StatusOpen Access
Recent studies have shown that cultural engagement, including museum attendance, is associated with improved health and wellbeing among older people. Understanding the correlates and reasons for attending museums and art galleries in later life is therefore an important area of research. In this paper, we employ an innovative mixed methods approach to understand museum attendance among older Australians (aged 60 and over). The quantitative component of our study found that (1) the prevalence of museum attendance is substantial, with one in three Australians aged over 60 attending a museum in 2014; (2) high income, holding assets and involvement in cultural activities in childhood were all strongly associated with attendance; (3) that demographic groups less likely to attend included those aged over 80, persons born in a non-English speaking country and those reporting poor or fair health, and (4) the most prevalent reason for non-attendance was ‘not interested’ or ‘no need’. The qualitative data from the two pilot studies confirmed the quantitative findings and provided further detail around reasons for attendance, potential strategies to encourage groups less likely to attend and how functional limitations are experienced in museum environments. These findings are important for museums and underscore the long-term and inclusive value of intergenerational programs, museum visitation as a social activity, the importance of physical comfort and ease and the potential of communication around the opportunities and benefits of museum visitation.
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