Whether your senior loved one takes a class or just turns on the music and moves to the beat, dancing has been proven to offer numerous physical, emotional, and social benefits. Multiple studies show moving to music is particularly beneficial for older adults. Here are five reasons dance is so therapeutic for seniors.
1. Reduce the Risk of Dementia
Several scientific studies suggest dancing is more effective at staving off dementia than any other form of exercise. One particular study found frequent dancing reduces the chance of developing dementia by as much as 76 percent.
2. Boost Cardiovascular Health
Gently raising the heart rate for a few minutes every day can strengthen the cardiovascular system, reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Researchers at the Lancisi Heart Institute in Ancona, Italy, found dancing the waltz offers seniors with chronic but stable heart failure the same cardiovascular benefits as traditional aerobic fitness training. Plus, many older adults find dancing a lot more fun than other forms of heart-healthy exercises.
Even if seniors have mobility issues or health challenges, they can still get the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Oshkosh elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
3. Alleviate Aches & Pains
Many aging adults develop joint issues at some point in their lives. When joints are stiff or inflamed, traditional forms of exercise can be difficult, but dancing is a low-impact exercise that can strengthen all the ligaments that support the joints. Numerous studies across North America have found low-impact dance programs are highly effective at reducing the amount of pain medication seniors take. One study in particular focused on a 12-week dance course, and at the end, participants were able to reduce their need for pain medication by an average of 39 percent.
4. Increase Balance
Slip-and-fall accidents are common among aging adults, and they can result in life-threatening injuries. Increasing balance is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of a slip-and-fall accident. Dancing strengthens all the stabilizer muscles throughout the body and enhances spatial awareness. One specific example is the rhythmic walking step that forms the foundation of the tango, which is why this dance is particularly helpful in increasing balance and gait function in seniors, especially older adults with Parkinson’s disease, according to research published in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.
If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over occasionally. Oshkosh respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
5. Be More Social
Most forms of dance therapy for seniors increase opportunities to socialize and connect with others. Developing and maintaining relationships has been proven to extend longevity, boost overall health, and enhance quality of life for older adults.
Seniors who need assistance with exercising safely can benefit from the help of trained professional caregivers. Home care service experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (920) 573-6295 today.