Did you know that seniors can actually overcome many challenges of aging simply by dancing? It’s true! While we might not think of dance as something elderly people like to do, you might be surprised if you just ask them! As a caregiver for seniors, there are many ways you can incorporate dance into their lifestyle. They may enjoy signing up for a dance class tailored especially for seniors, or perhaps they could use a video to get up and dance like nobody’s watching! Even still, you could hire a private dance instructor to come to the home and help them have some fun! Beyond the great physical benefits, here are some ways that dance can improve the quality of life for your older adult!
1. Cognitive Function
In order to dance, fine motor skills need to be in operation. Coordinating the movement to music is an excellent way to keep their mind sharp! Memory is also improved as they learn and remember different choreography.
Studies have shown us that dementia and Alzheimer’s can be slowed down or even prevented when caregivers dance with their senior clients or family members!
2. Improves Balance
Dancing causes several senses to be engaged at one time. Body movements like spinning or footwork allow the senior to improve his balance and coordination due to the muscle memory that dancing provides. This, in turn, allows them to be far more steady on their feet during the other parts of daily life, such as dressing and bathing. This improved balance most certainly helps to reduce the risk of falls!
3. Circulatory Stimulation
Any form of aerobic exercise gets the heart rate and blood flow going, and dance is no exception! Dancing allows for mild cardio exercise without all the strenuous movements that can normally be found in exercise routines. All this circulation provides blood flow to the brain, which sharpens memory and mood, as well as relieves achy or stiff joints and muscles. Another wonderful part of dancing is that the senior adult can do it alone or with others. This means they can take breaks and go at their own pace.
4. Helps Reduce Loneliness and Depression
Because dance is a form of self-expression, it allows seniors to stay tuned in and connected with their own body, which improves self-esteem and confidence. It’s a proven fact that music has an enormous effect on our spirits and can be a wonderful mood lifter. As seniors dance to their favorite music, loneliness and depression can greatly be reduced. They may enjoy sharing memories of dancing during their younger years. If the music is positive and uplifting, these memories can be a source of happiness, rather than sadness.
If the senior is able to enjoy dancing with other people in a dance class, this can be a huge way to make new friends and combat loneliness. Perhaps they could work up to preparing for a performance with other people in a class, giving them a sense of purpose and fulfillment as they participate in their community activities.
For more information on how dance can improve the lives of seniors, please contact us today!
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