Dancing is proving to be an effective way to bring the attention of people with dementia back into the here and now, according to instructors running specially designed dance classes, ABC News reports.
Not-for-profit group Dance Health Alliance has just started running the classes on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, aiming to stimulate brains and get joints moving.
Dance teacher Gwen Korebrits has been helping to run the classes in New South Wales, where they have been held for several years.
“The main aim is absolutely to get people moving, to really stimulate them physically,” she said.
“All the movements start off slow and small — there is no right or wrong in the class. We always make that very apparent and there is no technique that is necessary.”
The instructors also work with people with disabilities, and illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
“It’s lovely to see people become present again,” Ms Korebrits said.
Gerda Streiner lives at the nursing home where the first Queensland class took place.
She took part in the session, sitting next to her daughter Edith Streiner, who was visiting from NSW.
She said she loved dancing when she was younger.
Her daughter said she noticed a difference in her mother after the class.
“My mum was a lot looser in her body motions,” Ms Streiner said.