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Dance therapy is a hit with older people

31st August 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Classes run by a charity in London are making a huge difference to older people in the surrounding area by encouraging them to dance, no matter their mobility. The dancing classes invite older people and their carers to take part in activities, with many in attendance joining in despite having stiff joints or being confined to a wheelchair.

One class in particular, run by the charity Create, is hosted by a dancer named Rachel Drazek, who previously co-starred in the Moulin Rouge-based Crazy Jane. With her gentle encouragement, and the help of the attending carers, the older people are able to dance and communicate with each other in time to the music.

Activities include sitting in a circle while holding a thin plastic circle that has to be moved up and down, and another exercise which involves touching the hand of the person on the left in order to transfer a bracelet made from a rugby shirt.

The need for services that support older people is increasing

It has previously been proven by researchers that the arts can be very uplifting for older people, with health reports suggesting that music and dance can reduce anxiety and blood pressure, while also easing loneliness. An article published by the Guardian quotes one of the older dancers describing herself as ‘the belle of the ball’, which proves just how meaningful these classes are to those involved.

However, many of these schemes are funded by the government and may not be able to continue if more spending cuts are made in future. This would be a huge shame for those attending the classes, as many older or disabled people look forward to taking part in the activities each week, especially those who are reliant on stairlifts for the elderly and find the classes are tailored to their level of mobility.

Image Credit: Diana Robinson (flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.