Dementia-Friendly Dance Class Renews Health and Happiness to Seniors Fighting Alzheimer’s
In this volunteer-run partner dance class, seniors suffering from dementia are able to regain a little bit of their former selves with every step.
At the Ballroom of Reno in Nevada, dozens of Alzheimer’s patients and their partners are able to attend dementia-friendly dance classes that teach everything from swing dancing to waltz.
Not only do the classes help bring the seniors out of isolation, they also offer a number of physical and cognitive benefits which collectively make “the perfect combination for brain growth,” class instructor Desiree Reid told KOLO News.
“Ballroom dancing, specifically partner dancing, it grounds them and says ‘this is here, this is now,’” she added. “It gives us more cognitive function, paired with [the] physical connection with people’s hands, and music to solidify all of those things we learn.”
Whether the attendees are taking the classes to prevent dementia symptoms or simply to fight memory loss and cognitive decline, the classes have already had a dramatic impact on the participants.
“It changes everyone’s personality,” one of the elderly dancers told the news outlet in the interview below. “Everyone is very subdued when they come in, and the minute the music starts, everyone is happy. Everyone is having a good time. So it’s like you just put an hour of the disease behind.”
This is not the first time that dancing has been shown to combat Alzheimer’s and senior isolation—which is why the class instructors are hoping to recruit additional volunteers to help offer more dementia-friendly dance classes at the Ballroom of Reno.
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