Today, more and more people spend more time sitting around their houses and browsing their phones. Being inactive has become a ubiquitous health concern that is detrimental to the overall health and wellness of any age.
While better access to healthcare gives seniors better control of their health, staying active is critical to helping their minds and bodies combat aging. Dancing is now an alternative to conventional exercise that keeps seniors tuning in with their bodies. Find out the benefits of dance in seniors.
Discover The Best 9 Reasons Why Seniors Should Dance Like No Other Is Watching
Fall Risk: Understanding The Aging Implication
It comes as no shocking news that the relationship between time and the aging population isn’t an easy one. Advanced age can take a serious toll on seniors’ lives, with a long list of health concerns worrying them night and day.
Undoubtedly, the elder years are the time period where seniors are vulnerable to the slightest changes happening in their health. Some common health issues seniors may encounter throughout retirement include malnutrition, heart disease, weakened immune system, vision impairment, hearing loss, urinary tract problems, and so on.
Falls are an indirect aging-related nuisance that sends seniors to the hospital yearly. According to reports, the number of seniors admitted to emergency rooms due to broken hips is 300,000 per year. As soon as seniors celebrate their 65th birthday, their risk of falling escalates. Muscle weakness, brittle bones, balance disorder, poor vision, hearing issues, and medication side effects are a few common reasons why seniors can’t stay on their feet.
However, the aftermath of a fall can go beyond immobility. At older ages, recovering from falls may take weeks or even months. Lengthy, bedridden time can sabotage seniors’ quality of life in the long run. Simple daily tasks like bathing and dressing are undoable, meaning they must depend on nurses, children, or caregivers. They may experience bed sores, back pain, blood circulation problems, constipation, muscle loss, appetite loss, and depression, to name a few.
The Benefits of Dance In Seniors
Believe it or not, dance is a painless way to exercise the body, especially if your seniors find conventional exercise too arduous or too boring for their taste. Explore how dance may add more years to seniors’ healthspan and lifespan.
Joint and muscle stiffness can make seniors’ daily tasks inaccessible. As flexibility contributes to improved mobility and balance, remaining flexible is critical for seniors. It can transform many life aspects in the long run. For instance, flexibility minimizes the risks of falls and injury, allowing seniors to move around the house at ease, especially if they have an independent life or have no helping hands. By encompassing a diverse range of movements, dancing can help seniors work up their muscles, improving overall mobility.
Increases Core Strength
Not many know that dancing is a wonderful approach to increased core strength. Surely, dancing is all about graceful movements, but it also plays a significant role in building strength. When dancing, seniors are required to sustain their core strength to avoid stumbling for a longer time. In the long term, such engagement is beneficial to muscles in the upper body, core, and legs, aiding the prevention of poor posture and muscle injuries. Building strength is important for seniors in a way that it allows seniors to stay out and about for a long while without feeling tired or fatigued.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Dancing is an excellent ally in the fight against heart disease for seniors. A 2016 study has found that adults aged 40 and above who practiced moderate-intensity dancing over 10 years were 46 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease than non-dancers. Much like aerobics, making dancing a part of seniors’ exercise routine is a great way to get the blood flowing and strengthen heart muscles, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease over time.
Did you know that off-grid balance is a major risk factor for falls in seniors? Maintaining good balance has shown a lot of promising benefits for achieving healthy aging. It promotes extra safety and gives seniors more time to react accordingly in emergencies, whether inside or outside the house. A few salsa classes can enhance seniors’ balance by integrating muscles, bones, tendons, ears, and brain. With better balance, seniors find it easier to navigate their everyday lives. For example, seniors may have more freedom to enjoy walking on meadows in the park instead of sticking to sturdy surfaces like sidewalks.
Relieves Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a dwelling nuisance associated with aging that is not discussed enough. What makes chronic pain a lingering issue among seniors is the lack of diagnosis due to the vagueness of symptoms. Some chronic pain conditions faced by seniors include pain from conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, leg pain, back pain, shoulder pain, and so on. Numerous studies have noted that rhythmic movements may provide natural pain relief in the joints of seniors following the engagement of dancing therapies for 60-150 minutes per week. As dancing is known to correct posture, seniors with better posture can dodge discomfort associated with their spine, like neck and back pain.
Promotes Stronger Bones
While bones are the backbone of robust aging, they can deteriorate with advanced age. Weaker bones are linked to an elevated likelihood of fractures and osteoporosis, especially in senior women. Besides eating right, dancing can add so much to bone health by maintaining bone density and generating bone mass. Research advocates that dancing can greatly benefit seniors with osteoporosis as it may help reverse the condition.
May Prevent Cognitive Decline
Cognitive challenges may hinder seniors’ memory, processing speed, logical thinking, problem-solving, concentration, and other brain functions. While forgetfulness is no big deal now and then, severe memory loss and poor judgment may indicate dementia in later years. Some research has cited that learning moves and choreography may be advantageous for seniors to keep their memory intact and remaster their cognitive skills in addition to brain-stimulating activities.
Elevates Mental Health
It is no surprise that spending more time dancing to upbeat music can have transformative effects on seniors’ mental health, especially when they are more vulnerable to loneliness, depression, and negative feelings. As music triggers the release of the feel-good hormone dopamine, dancing is an effective remedy for seniors to bust stress, end anxious thoughts, increase self-esteem, and boost mental wellness. Dance movement therapy is a certified treatment for treating depression as it aims to promote physical, cognitive, emotional, and social integration. So the next time your parents are bearing worrying thoughts, get them out to dance!
Enriches Social Life
Social connectedness is critical to seniors’ aging. Dancing is an ideal opportunity for seniors to enrich their social lives because they can connect and form friendships with people with the same hobbies. When seniors spend more time with others, their self-awareness and sense of belonging are boosted. Whether taking a class or feeling the energy in the room, such platforms are a creative way to keep seniors socially active, supporting their quest to rediscover happiness and harbor more confidence.
Dance The Blues Away at 12 Oaks Communities
At 12 Oaks-managed senior living communities, we love to dance! That’s why we work hard to curate fun dance classes for seniors to maintain their physical health, keep their cognitive functions active, and improve their agility. Dancing is perfect to meet and mingle with other residents, too! Dancing your heart out is known to help seniors create long-lasting happiness and memories that will make them smile from ear to ear.
If you have questions about the benefits of dance in seniors or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks Senior Living Communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG
Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living Communities, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a visit.