In the United States alone, there are more than 5 million people who have been diagnosed with some form of dementia. In addition to the widely known symptom of memory loss, dementia also affects mood, personality and behavior. While no cure has been found to reverse the effects of dementia, studies have reported that there are some activities that can help reduce, and make the symptoms of the disease more manageable. One of these activities is dancing.
Dancing is an age old pastime that has been a part of ceremonies, rituals, celebrations and entertainment dating back to the Egyptians in 3300 BC. While the health benefits of dancing are often associated with physical exercise, recent Lincoln senior care studies have shown that older adults who dance regularly also enjoy immense cognitive benefits.
According to research performed by the Alzheimer’s Association and the Bronx Aging study, dancing is one of the few physical activities that can delay the onset of dementia, actually working to help re-wire the cerebral cortex. In fact, the study says that dancing is more effective than working crossword puzzles for preventing dementia.
What is the logic behind this thought? Well, dancing often involves precise physical activity, listening to music, and remembering dance steps; when done alone can offer health benefits but when performed together, continually engage the brain. Seniors with dementia must focus and concentrate on the task at hand and the music in order to correctly perform the dance. As a result, not only are seniors able to enjoy a physical workout, they are involved in a cognitive workout as well.
It is important to note that Lincoln dementia care specialists state that not all forms of dance can help minimize the effects of dementia. The types of dance that are most beneficial are those that require seniors to make decisions quickly, also commonly referred to “rapid fire” decision making. The best types are instructed dancing, such as ballroom dancing as it requires seniors to use their intelligence to quickly move from one move to the next, in both the leading and following roles.
It’s never too early or too late to strengthen your mind! Whether through dance, picking up a new hobby, or maintaining your close relations with friends and family, there are many new ways in which seniors can help prevent and combat age related conditions such as advanced memory loss.
Do you have any other unique dementia prevention tips for seniors? Share them with us! At Lincoln Home Care Assistance, we are always looking for touching and inspirational stories to share with our senior clients and their families!