Community Blog

Should My Elderly Relative Join a Dance Class?

By Denise Roskamp

Marcos was an elderly man that hates to exercise. At his last checkup, Marcos’ doctor strongly recommended that he needed to get more active to improve his health and reduce his risk of falling and hurting himself. However, Marcos simply did not want to spend time on a stationary bike or walking around the park. He was growing more sedentary and isolated as a result.

When his adult daughter recommended dance classes at the senior center, Marcos dismissed it and declared he was uninterested. However, she convinced him to just observe one class, so he agreed. After watching just one senior salsa class, he decided to join and quickly grew to love the lively music and friendly participants. Now, Marcos hardly misses a class and is one of the best dancers of the group. His doctor noted his improved health at the most recent checkup and encouraged Marcos to keep it up.

Senior dance classes are an excellent way for elderly adults to get some exercise and boost their social life at the same time. From Zumba and salsa to ballroom dance and ballet, senior dance classes are both fun and challenging. The classes are usually conducted by a trained instructor that uses dance therapy and age-appropriate modifications to create routines that are ideal for elderly dancers. The best part of senior dance classes is that it provides benefits for both physical health and mental health.


Research shows that mild to moderate exercise in old age provides tremendous physical health benefits. With age, the body slows down, loses muscle mass and bone density and is more likely to develop illness and disease. Exercise can increase strength, flexibility and balance, giving seniors what they need to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents. Regular dance classes also boost a person’s cardiovascular health and circulation.


It’s not just a senior’s physical health that benefits from dance classes. Mental health issues are also addressed when they participate in this highly social activity. The interaction with the instructor and other dancers gives them a much-needed social boost, especially as many seniors face isolation and loneliness. Dancing can improve self-esteem and self-confidence, reducing the risk of depression and anxiety. Research shows that physical activity and learning new and complex things like dance moves may also keep dementia at bay.


It can be a real challenge for family caregivers and elder care assistants to figure out how to motivate elderly adults to exercise. Many seniors don’t have much fun doing some of the more mundane or boring exercises that are traditionally deemed appropriate for the elderly. However, the fun and enjoyment that seniors get when participating in dance classes really does motivate them to stay involved and return again and again.


It’s never to late for an elderly adult to join a senior dance class and start stepping and swinging to a healthier and happier future.


Source:

https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/dance-exercise-seniors-5466.html

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN CONCORD, MA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS TODAY. CALL NOW (508) 545-0164.