Dance class for seniors aims to improve memory and wellbeingFebruary 20, 2020
All too often people with memory issues are told to engage the brain, to do more crosswords or play games. A group of seniors in Waitara have chosen instead to take a weekly dance therapy class through our Memory Innovations Centre, with the goal of improving their memory and perhaps even preventing dementia.
The Dance With Me program, run by professional Dance Movement Therapist Robyn Price, offers a mix of activities for the whole person (body, mind and spirit), tailored to the needs of each participant. Check in, breathing and warm ups are followed by improvisations to music, dance sequences to engage the memory, pair and small group activities, and a final guided relaxation.
Recent research into ways to improve cognition in older adults highlights the benefit of engaging in activities that combine both physical and cognitive challenges and promote social engagement such as dance and tai-chi (Gheysen et al., 2018). So what are the participants noticing?
“While we haven’t measured cognitive function yet, the group is already feeling the effects after just a few short weeks”, says Robyn Price, our Memory Innovations Centre Dance Movement Therapist. “One participant shared she is feeling physically stronger, able to bend down and pick things up more easily. Another said she appreciates the physical fitness aspect of the program and the fact it doesn’t feel like exercise. She also shared how her wobbly walk disappears when she is dancing. Together we are building our physical strength and stamina, memorising and repeating a dance sequence and having fun.”
The classes are designed to be enjoyable, cater to all abilities, and you can try a class for free.
About the Memory Innovations Centre
Are you worried about lapses in memory, experience cognitive impairment from illness or injury, or have just received a diagnosis of dementia? This government-funded program based in Waitara offers a weekly selection of classes and experiences designed to help improve your memory.
Participants can choose between exercise, brain training, art, dance/music, and cooking and nutrition, they can relax in the sitting area or book in to see our resident Occupational Therapist or Speech Therapist. All facilitators are experienced, professional and welcoming and will share up-to-date information and suggest exercises you can practise at home.
Three payment options are available, with one hour sessions costing as little as $4.
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P: (02) 9481 2659