A groundbreaking 2003 study conducted by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York found dancing increased cognitive abilities in seniors over the age of 75 and significantly reduced the risk of developing dementia. The 21-year-long study looked at a variety of pastimes, from solving crossword puzzles to playing golf. Out of all of the activities, dancing showed the greatest ability to reduce the risk of dementia.
Dementia is one of the many serious health conditions seniors are susceptible to. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly home care. Sacramento, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
How Dancing Reduces Dementia Risk
Human brains access stored information through neural pathways. Sometimes the data is accessed through a single synapse, while at other times the brain creates multiple paths to the same information. As people age, some brain cells and synapses weaken or die. The accepted theory is that people who participate in activities that require different ways of thinking develop alternative pathways they can use to recall data if the primary paths are blocked. Whether by paying attention to a partner, remembering steps, moving to music, or expressing creativity, dancing encourages seniors to exercise a wide range of mental functions. Experts believe it’s the complex thought process involved in dancing that keeps the brain healthier longer.
If your loved one has limited mobility that makes it unsafe to dance or perform daily tasks, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Dancing as Therapy for Seniors with Dementia
Additional studies focusing on the relationship between dancing and people with dementia have proven to have numerous benefits as well. Several studies that looked at social dancing in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in-home care programs found the activity awakened social habits, patterns, and memories that seemed to have been forgotten.
In addition to increased socialization, dancing was found to provide a valuable means of self-expression. Individuals with dementia also showed greater confidence and self-esteem after participating in dancing programs. Dancing helps seniors focus on their continuing strengths and abilities rather than on their losses. Best of all, dancing helps those who live with dementia have fun and enjoy life—and that’s a benefit that’s as pleasing for caregivers as it is for their senior loved ones.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Sacramento seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your parent, give us a call at (916) 706-0169 today.