Dancing is good for people – including people with dementia!

I was excited to read this tweet from Dr Karim Saad recently. Dr Saad is a strong advocate of, and very successful in, reducing the use of anti-psychotic drugs for people living with dementia.

This links to an excellent article talking about the inspirational work of Dr Azucena Guzmán García and others. It highlights the benefits of care homes running “structured and regular dance sessions” for people who are living with dementia. Dr. Guzmán García’s research revealed “dancing improves mood, is good for physical wellbeing and also helps to strengthen the bond of trust between staff and residents.”

Well, there’s a surprise… 🙂

Common sense would suggest that music and dance would be enjoyable activities for many people living with dementia. Most of us enjoy music and / or dance, once we find a style that suits our preference or mood. People with dementia are no different!

Betty Boogie!

Betty Boogie!

My mother-in-law, who was not generally a hugely sociable person, came right out of her shell when there was a bit of dancing on offer, to the extent that we nicknamed her “Betty Boogie”. This carried on and indeed helped considerably as her dementia progressed.

And now, thanks to the research of Dr Guzmán Garcia and others, it seems we are starting to get proper ‘evidence’ of the benefits!

I immediately also thought of *that* fabulous Healthy Living Club in Lambeth and it was not long before they were in the conversation…

It was great news to hear that HLCLC were celebrating their ‘1st birthday’ . This marks a fantastic achievement. It is one year since they started running as an independent organisation, having failed to get outside funding. This is a role model of what can be achieved with love and compassion and community in the face of what would have seemed to most people to be insurmountable odds. As regular readers will know, I have enjoyed sharing their story on more than one occasion!


And then some great news from Spain!

There may have been a hint of envy in my reply as I had just heard news of a similar idea being turned down in the UK…

But it seems we will just have to go on SHOWING how song and dance and warmth and including people as equals (either out in the community or within good residential homes) can nurture love and compassion and enhance the lives of people.

INCLUDING those who happen to be living with dementia!


About Gill Phillips - Whose Shoes?

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives. http://nutshellcomms.co.uk
This entry was posted in Blogs, co-production, community engagement, compassion, dementia, health, in my shoes, personalisation, social media, TLAP - Making It Real, well-being and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Dancing is good for people – including people with dementia!

  1. This is so important, both emotionally and physically. I have a friend in the States who teaches dance classes to elders (without dementia) and reports amazing and very fast improvements in flexibility and strength.


  2. It’s official: dancing is good for people, including people with dementia, and this blog speaks about us!


  3. Pingback: 1300 carers come together… because people care | Whose Shoes?

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