Tuesday Tips for Caregivers – Using Movement to Conquer Dementia
We all know how much fun dancing the night away can be. Even those with “two left feet” have a hard time resisting a foot-tap or leg-shake when certain music comes on. The same is no different for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Dance and movement therapy for dementia
Dance and movement therapy uniquely addresses the needs of adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by relying on movement and other non-verbal behavior as the primary means of communicating and connecting. Interacting in this manner de-emphasizes verbal language skills and cognitive deficits and allows persons with Alzheimer’s disease to participate in the group from a place of ability, rather than disability.
Group movement, no matter how limited, release a feeling of energetic activity and a pleasurable sense of the here-and-now. The rhythmic, repetitive movement facilitated by a dance/movement therapist helps foster perceptual and cognitive organization, providing a structure in time and space for the safe expression of feelings. The motor action often sparks memories from the past, which in turn helps confused individuals become more alert and organized.
Disease that impairs memory also affects self-image and esteem; people with dementia often become depressed and frustrated by their decreased abilities. Ritualized group movements expressing mourning, frustration and anger, in addition to joy and laughter, allow for the release of these emotions and group bonding, fostering an atmosphere in which the elderly can regain a sense of self-worth and revitalization.
Whether your preference be tango, tap or line dancing, if you enjoy it, do it. It will tone your body and mind. In the long run, dancing will help you more than you realize, so keep it up as long as you can.
To contact ElderCare at Home
Contact our office at (888) 285-0093 for more information or email us below. Thanks for joining us today and we’ll see you again next week!