What are you going to do with your aging parents this afternoon? Board games and coffee is always nice. But have you thought about putting on their favorite tunes and getting on the dance, er, living room floor? Here are 5 of the benefits of dancing for seniors.
- "Dance away the blues" isn't just a catchy phrase. The statement actually has some truth to it. Both the music and the body movements can help curb depression or unpleasant moods in general. The physical contact of dancing with a partner will also do them a lot of good emotionally.
- It's a great way to strengthen muscles. If Mom and Dad spend a lot of time in bed or on the sofa, they are likely getting weaker. Dancing will help them get stronger which can help them feel better equipped to handle daily tasks.
- Like other aerobic exercises, it's good for the heart. In fact, a recent study states that "waltz dancing may be considered in clinical practice in combination with aerobic exercise training or as an alternative to it". Caution is in order, though, for those with heart failure not to overdo it.
- Dancing is good for the brain. In a study of 469 subjects over the age of 75, it is listed among reading, playing board games, and playing musical instruments as a leisure activity associated with a reduced risk of dementia.
- It's plain old fun. When boredom has set in or going out of the house isn't an option, dancing will hit the spot.
Okay, so Mom and Dad might not be ready to perform on a hit show, but they can definitely reap these 5 benefits and more by enjoying a little dancing every now and then. Don't forget to check with the doctor before starting any exercise with your parents, including dancing.
As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!