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Dance Away Parkinson’s Pain

By Debbie Waddell, 8:00 am on

Can you imagine senior citizens happily dancing to the songs of Elvis Presley, Paul Anka, the Platters, the Beatles, and other tunes that were popular in the 50s and the 60s? Now imagine that these seniors, all happily shaking and grooving, are also battling Parkinson’s disease.

Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of Placer County Parkinson’s home care and we’re always looking for new advancements and ways to help minimize the symptoms of Parkinson’s for the patients we serve. “Dance with PD” is a relatively new therapy program that encourages aging adults with Parkinson’s to dance every day in order to improve health, balance, strength and quality of life.

What Having Parkinson’s Disease Means

If your aging loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you’ve likely noticed symptoms such as loss of motor control, tremors and stiffness. The good news is that a combination of health practices, such as daily exercise and diet, can help ease Parkinson’s pain while slowing down the progression of other symptoms.

The Benefits of Dance as Therapy

Research today suggests that the pain and degeneration that comes from Parkinson’s can be alleviated by dance therapy. There are many reasons for seniors with Parkinson’s to dance, but here are the two biggest:

  • Dance provides the physical activity and some of the therapeutic movements needed for pain relief in increased mobility.
  • Dance connects the body and the mind. The deliberate movements used in dance helpsaging adultsadapt and adjust to the depletion of the neurotransmitter called Dopamine, which is responsible for bringing the brain’s messages to the muscles.
  • As therapy, danceaids in relieving the stiffness and discomfort that comes with the disease. It also affords people with Parkinson’s the benefit of learning ways to deal with motor block (commonly referred to as freezing) and dyskinesia (involuntary movements).

Relief from Social Isolation

Through supervised dancing sessions, senior citizens with Parkinson ’s disease are provided a relaxed social setting that can ease problems related to isolation and depression. They are given opportunities to express their thoughts, to communicate with likeminded adults, and to engage in a fun group activity.

How to Get Groovin’!

Aging adults with Parkinson’s living in Placer County, California have a few different ways that they can take advantage of dance therapy.

  • Sign up for the free “Dance for PD” class located in Sacramento at Eskaton Monroe Lodge (3225 Freeport Boulevard).
  • Purchase the at home DVD, available at danceforparkinsons.org, and practice fun, therapeutic dance moves with the supervision and companionship of a Placer County home caregiver.
  • Simply put on your favorite music, invite over some friends, family and cut a rug in your living room!

The proven benefits of dance therapy for adults with Parkinson’s can’t be denied. This fun form of pain management is arguably one of the best ways for seniors to stay social, active and happy well into their golden years.

If you’re aging loved one is living with Parkinson’s, contact Home Care Assistance at 916.226.3737. We are a trusted provider of hourly and 24/7 in-home elder care in Placer County, offering special Parkinson’s care for those in need.

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