Dance proves too powerful for dementia

‘Social Dancing for People with Dementia’ is held at the Anglican Church Hall in Gerringong each Friday, from 2pm to 3.30pm and includes afternoon tea.
‘Social Dancing for People with Dementia’ is held at the Anglican Church Hall in Gerringong each Friday, from 2pm to 3.30pm and includes afternoon tea.

For the past three weeks, a group has been gathering at the Anglican Church Hall in Gerringong.

They dance, have a chat and enjoy afternoon tea together.

The majority of them have one thing in common – they are living with a form of dementia.

‘Social Dancing for People with Dementia’ has been funded by the Rotary Foundation and coordinated by rotarian Dr Christa Wood.

“I’ve been interested in the Kiama Friendly Dementia group for sometime and I did some awareness training. I thought as a rotarian with the Rotary Club of Gerringong, we really should be doing something more for that,” Dr Wood said.

“I applied for a grant through our Rotary Foundation and we’ve been given some money to run social dancing for people with dementia.”

Besides the physical health benefits, dance can also stimulate the minds of people with dementia.

“It’s absolutely wonderful – through research dancing has been proven to help with physical activity, with cognition and with memory,” Dr Wood said.

“We have enough grant money to run four lots of four-week sessions and we’ve got a qualified dance teacher who runs us through some of the dancing steps.

“We have participants from Blue Haven in Kiama, Mayflower in Gerringong and others who come along.”

Blue Haven resident Lorraine was all smiles as she took to the dance floor.

“This is only my second time and I thought it was wonderful, it is the first time I have ever been involved in anything like this,” she said.

The next four-week session will commence on Friday, October 27, with another two sessions scheduled for early 2018.

The class is held at the Anglican Church Hall in Gerringong each Friday from 2pm to 3.30pm and includes afternoon tea.

For more information about the program contact Christa Wood on 0416 202 678 or christa.wood@gmail.com. 

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