Dance for Alzheimer’s
Music, movement and touch are the founding principles behind Rhythm Break Cares’ (RBC) Dance for Alzheimer’sprograms. Since 2001, we have utilized our love and knowledge of dance to improve the quality of life for early and middle stage Alzheimer’s communities and those affected by dementia. RBC combines the skill of partnering and fundamental musical movement, the artistry of any professional ballroom dancer, with Alzheimer’s Association certified knowledge to create a thoughtful and effective program, which emphasizes the regenerative power of dance.
Our staff of professional dance instructors are trained to interact with those afflicted with dementia and Alzheimer’s and at any stage of diminished cognitive capacity. Activities include visual stimulation, sing-a-long, clapping and dance therapy, which focuses on wide range of physical motion, many of which can be done in a sitting position, to encourage maximum participation. Various aspects of a dance session, such as the music, exercise, and social components of dancing, may achieve positive effects. However, vastly varying methods between most studies mean that they fail to agree the most important component. Although a Cochrane review shows that music therapy offers no definite benefits, subsequent research indicates that music can improve autobiographical memory and reduce agitation, anxiety, delusions, and other behavioral symptoms in dementia of any severity.
The staff at Rhythm Break Cares has volunteered with the Alzheimer’s community for well over a decade before the nonprofit was formed. This valuable time allowed our staff to get to know what daily life is like for people with dementia and how it impacts their caregivers. Their health and well being are often the most overlooked aspect of the disease. RBC decided to launch another program focused on providing and fostering a safe and communicative environment for caregivers and those living with early, middle or late stage Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, social dancing with a partner is a familiar and enjoyable activity for elderly people and provides quality time for the patient and their partner. It develops procedural learning (long term memory initiated by past experience) and concentration because dancing is a dynamic rather than repetitive physical activity. We approached our mentors and supporters at the NY Chapter of Alzheimer’s Association and with their guidance, on January 24th, 2011, we launched our first in-house program called Care for Caregivers Tea Dance Social. See the tea dance in action below, courtesy of Maria Andrade. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at (646) 742-9014 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.