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Does Dancing Help Reduce the Risk of Dementia?

Throw on your dancing shoes, play your favorite record (or CD or iPod shuffle) nd hit the dance floor! Why? Because it’s good for your health! A study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine showed thatdancing was the only physical activity that offered protection against dementia. Dancing has always been a fun and favorite way to exercise but there appears to be a variety of reasons why dance helps reduce the risk for dementia.If you have an aging loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia and would like to learn more about specialty care in Annapolis, click here.

A key reason why dancing is so beneficial in reducing the risk for dementia is that it requires split-second decision making. Unlike engaging in certain sports such as golf, dancing requires that you be mentally alert throughout the entire dance because spontaneous decisions are required as the steps and rhythm change. This prolonged mental stimulation strengthens cognitive function, which is great for fighting off dementia.

In addition to split-second decision making, dancing requires music. Favorite songs of the past can help revive past feelings and happy memories, requiring seniors to use their long-term memory. Furthermore, by singing along or learning dance steps to various songs, the brain is constantly engaged, which is an important aspect of combating dementia and memory loss.

Finally, seniors who dance with a partner or in a class with others have the advantage of social stimulation. When older adults continue to make relationships with peers, they continue to learn, and actively work to keep their brain healthy. Dancing with others improvesoverall mood. And we all know that happy seniors are healthy seniors!

Beginning January 6, 2014, the Annapolis Senior Center starts its winter 2014 class schedule. Along with many other fun and educational classes, seniors can learn new dances with other likeminded individuals. Seniors can sign up for line dancing, Zumba, and social gatherings. Plus, every Wednesday this month the center will be hosting a live band where older adults are free to relax to the beautiful rhythms or join others on the dance floor. The Annapolis Senior Center is also offering a “Line Dance Party” on January 27, from 12:30-3:00 p.m. with light refreshments. To register, call 410-222-1818.

If you need help getting to a local event or would like a practice dance partner, please contact us at Home Care Assistance of Annapolis, MD at 443-302-2771. Our trained in-home caregivers are available to help with transportation. And the gang at the Corporate office loves to cut a rug!

For more information about the services we offer at Home Care Assistance of Annapolis, or to set up a free in-home consultation, please call 443-302-2771 or visit our website at homecareassistanceannapolis.com.