“Dance has long been recognised as providing a therapeutic benefit, a form of release and a means of expression. Using simple creative movements allows people to express something of their individuality.” Memory Dances are a simple way of helping people with early onset dementia to experience a sense of fun and freedom through gently guided and supported movement. Dance, especially with a musical accompaniment, has a magical quality of stimulating memory and providing the body with physical therapy much needed by those living with dementia.
In a nutshell:
Partnering with an existing local dance group for the over 60s, the Salisbury Area Board fund sessions that are specifically aimed at those with early onset dementia, recognising that dance is a great stimulant for wellbeing, and that movement through dance often evokes good memories. Drawing on the newly stabled Dementia Action Alliance, the area board works in partnership with the local Alzheimer’s Society, arts organisations, city council and community groups, to support the dances, by helping to promote the sessions through the alliance’s wide network of contacts, by sourcing appropriate venues and by linking the dances with other dementia related local activities.
What makes this project special: Salisbury has the highest recorded incidents of people over 65 living with dementia in Wiltshire. The city also has a rich heritage in art and cultural expression, with many groups established to provide dance and movement opportunities for all ages. The area board has ranked dementia as one of its top priorities for local action. Drawing together all of those elements and facilitated by local area board funding, Memory Dances are able to provide:
- weekly opportunities for people with dementia and their carers to come together to dance and enjoy the company of others in a very relaxed and supported environment;
- a space that is guided and supported by professional dance coaches to exercise freedom of physical expression, to dare to dream again, and to reminisce about good times gone by
- an opportunity to demonstrate to people living with dementia (and their carers), that Salisbury cares and is willing to invest time, resources and funding to facilitate activities that enhance their health and wellbeing
Find out more from your local community engagement manager: 01722 434697