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Why the Elderly Should Dance More Often

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on July 5, 2016

More and more seniors are taking up dancing as a hobby because they are discovering just how much it can boost their health. Dancing can be performed at senior centers, during dance classes and dance therapy sessions, and even in the comfort of home. Your senior loved one can benefit from dancing in a variety of ways, and Roseville senior home care experts want to share a few of those advantages with you.

Better Balance

Every 13 seconds, a senior goes to the emergency room because of a fall. This can result in broken bones, painful recovery, and even death. However, dancing can help increase your loved one’s balance and decrease his or her risk of falling. A 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society looked at the effects dancing had on seniors. Those who regularly danced were found to have better balance and more “balance confidence” than those who didn’t dance.

Decreased Risk of Alzheimer’s

An estimated 5.4 million seniors in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia that affects their memory and the ability to care for themselves. Dancing can help reduce your loved one’s risk of getting Alzheimer’s. A 2003 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at how physical activity impacted Alzheimer’s development. Of the 6 activities studied, researchers found the only one that reduced the risk was dancing. Seniors who participated in ballroom dancing classes twice a week were less likely to be diagnosed with the disease. 

Increased Strength

As we age, our bodies naturally lose muscle mass. Building muscle can help your loved one lose weight, manage blood sugar levels, strengthen bones, and boost cardiovascular health. Dancing is a fun way to build muscles without having to lift weights. A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Dance Therapy found seniors who participated in Argentine tango classes for an hour and a half each week had increased strength and muscle tone compared to those who performed other activities.

More Opportunities for Socialization

Dancing can help your loved one make new friends and socialize regularly. Many seniors find it difficult to leave the house once friends and family move or pass away. Dance classes can help your loved one learn new skills that also push him or her to make new friends, decreasing the risk of loneliness, isolation, and depression.

Though not all seniors are mobile enough to dance, it’s important for your loved one to participate in some form of physical activity. For additional low-impact exercise suggestions, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care in Roseville, Rocklin, and Lincoln, and our experienced caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with exercise, provide transportation, and help with a wide array of other tasks. To learn more about our senior care services, call 916.226.3737 today.

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