Dancing brings health and wellbeing to residents

Professional dancers Kirsten and Daniel Wilkes perform. Images: Supplied.

There were flapper dresses and feathers galore at Bupa Cedar Manor Care Home over the weekend as residents, families and staff held their Shall We Dance 1920s Ball.

Bupa’s nationwide event held in July called Shall We Dance, encourages residents to keep moving through all forms of dance to promote the physical and mental health benefits.

With feet tapping to the beat of 1920s music amongst gold decorations and balloons, professional dancers Kirsten and Daniel Wilkes performed the Charleston, while Bupa staff performed a rehearsed dance from the time period.

University of Auckland Professor Ngaire Kerse, who has worked on a number of New Zealand research projects in improving the health and wellbeing in older people and falls prevention, says dance and movement is beneficial to all groups of people later in life.

“Dancing is very cognitively stimulating and can improve cardiovascular health in older people. It also keeps the brain healthy and engaged too,” says Ngaire.

Bupa has 48 care homes holding special Shall We Dance events throughout New Zealand this month.

Residents Shirley Smith and Mary Edwards.

Bupa Cedar Manor Care Home manager Jane Verry says everyone loved the opportunity to ‘dance the night away’.

“This is an event that our residents look forward to every year. Everyone dresses up in theme and has a wonderful time,” says Jane.

Bupa staff: Lily Sustekoa, Tracey Cairns, Courtney Smith, Nikka Bautista dancing 1920s style.

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