5 Ways Dancing Lowers Dementia Risk for Older Adults

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Dancing is a wonderful activity many senior citizens enjoy, and it also offers beneficial physical exercise. However, boosting physical health isn’t the only reason seniors should consider dancing. The New England Journal of Medicine published an article declaring dancing reduces the risk of developing dementia. Here are a few ways dancing can help seniors lower their dementia risk.

1. Stimulates the Brain

Hearing the music played at dances has a powerful effect on the brain. The notes, chords, and lyrics of songs can access regions of the brain in a unique way. Familiar tunes automatically bring back memories of the past by stimulating the memory centers of the brain, which is useful for preventing memory loss. Music can also stimulate the pleasure center. 

Dementia is one of the many serious health conditions seniors are susceptible to. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Placer County, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Boosts Heart Health

The journal Circulation published an article explaining that dancing offers the same aerobic cardiovascular benefits as cycling, jogging, walking, and other physical activities. Dancing strengthens the heart while encouraging dilation of blood vessels. This way, the brain receives better blood circulation that is rich in oxygen and vital nutrients. Neurons are then better able to function and develop new pathways. 

3. Enhances Movement

Researchers from Saint Louis University performed a 12-week study of a low-impact dance program featuring seniors having an average age of 80. At the conclusion of the program, the older adults demonstrated better range of motion and walking, and many were able to decrease their dosages of pain medication. Along with enhancing their ability to remain independent, adults who dance regularly also increase their cardiovascular circulation by reducing joint stiffness and elevating their level of physical movement. 

If your loved one has limited mobility due to an injury, making it unsafe for him or her to dance or perform daily tasks, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Placer County, CA, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

4. Provides Mental Stimulation 

The brain is busy continually making new neural pathways when needed. Having more pathways increases the ability for neurons to communicate with each other, which in turn increases the number of neurons regulating cognitive function. The cerebral cortex and hippocampus are areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Dancing encourages brain plasticity by requiring split-second decision-making. Neurons fire as dancers focus on enacting the various body movements required by different dances while paying attention to the music. Learning new dance steps ensures the brain remains stimulated. Dancing also stimulates the regions of the brain that regulate motor skills and the senses. A study lasting more than two decades performed by researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found seniors who danced on a regular basis reduced their risk of developing dementia by 76 percent. 

5. Promotes Social Interaction

Attending dance classes or public dances with friends or a significant other provides the chance to socialize. Dancing boosts emotional and mental health by decreasing anxiety and stress levels that often lead to inflammation. Chronic inflammation impairs blood circulation and damages brain cells. While dancing or socializing, the brain releases dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters that inhibit inflammation and negative emotions.

For families living in Placer County, CA, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. For a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 916.226.3737 today.

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