Feb 15, 2017 by Becky Cross
Rock Around The Clock is not just a song. It represents the energy that many senior citizens are attracted to. Dancing and music have the power to heal - or at least bring moments of feel-good time into the lives of seniors. An Abilene caregiver discusses five health benefits dancing can have for seniors:
Lessen Depression or Anxiety
A research study found that men and women with mood disorders felt less depressed after two weeks in a dance class. Not only did they have less stress, but their sleep patterns also improved. Dancing involves social interaction, which reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Increase Strength & Balance
Salsa dancing may look complicated, but your parent does not have to be perfect at it. However, the movement in salsa will help them strengthen muscles and improve balance. This is especially important for seniors whose bones weaken as they age.
Exercise The Brain
Seniors who dance must move their feet and arms at the same time in different ways. This takes an immense amount of concentration and practice. A caregiver explains that using these cognitive thinking skills works out the brain.
Improve Heart & Lung Function
Providers of in home care services explain that waltzing at least three times a week for eight weeks can benefit a senior’s heart and lungs as much as walking on the treadmill or cycling.
Fend Off Dementia
Dance is beneficial to seniors because it combines cardiovascular activity and mental (thinking) activity. Recalling dance steps and cues requires the brain to exercise its memory. If your parent is in the early stages of dementia, it has been shown that music can signal the brain to remember and reconnect.
Whether your parent dances solo or with the help of a caregiver, at the local community center or in their living room, they are dancing their way to better health!