Dance Therapy Helps Seniors Connect Physically, Emotionally
You’ve may have heard of music therapy for seniors. But what about dance therapy?
At the Santa Barbara news website Noozhawk, dance-movement therapist Wendy Elliott describes her class as an exercise in physical, emotional and spiritual connection. In it, women ages 65 to 100 begin with a sort of warm-up, which includes a shoulder massage from Elliot.
Their appreciation of touch is deep — so rarely does anybody make physical contact with them in a way that is loving and gentle. Most physical contact they get is relegated to medical or dental procedures where they are told to do this or that — mechanical at best, these experiences of being in body end up feeling empty.
The class slowly morphs into free dancing–done as slowly and carefully as needed. At least one participant is a caregiver for her husband. Another uses a walker, but she puts it aside for the dancing.
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.