A new study has found that Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) can promote exercise in elderly people and improve their quality of life. It could also improve familial ties between grandparents and grandchildren, said researchers.
DMT is a psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance to support intellectual, emotional and motor functions in the body.
Published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the study was conducted by researchers of Kibbutzum College and the University of Haifa.
For the study, 16 dance movement therapists met with their grandmothers for three free-form dance sessions. It was found that dancing promoted positive feelings and improved mood in grandparents.
The sessions were conducted one week apart, at the grandmother’s house for about 10-15 minutes. Granddaughters were instructed to follow their grandmother’s movements, encourage their abilities and allow them to rest when needed.
“The increase of the proportion of elderly in the population, along with the increase in the age group of adult grandchildren necessitates creativity and innovation in providing diverse resources and support,” study author Dr Einat Shuper Engelhard, University of Haifa, was quoted as saying.
The author added, “The sessions promoted physical activity even when the body was fatigued and weak. This emphasises the significance of the close and familiar relationship as a means to promote new experiences (which can occasionally seem impossible) for the older person.”
The dance was chosen as an intervention to improve muscle strength, balance and endurance, prevent anxiety and depression and help cope with dementia. It also turned out to be a model for low-cost and accessile community support.
(With inputs from ANI)