The aged population is rapidly increasing and the society is changing. Engaging older adults in ways that preserve dignity and sense of self is imperative. Iris Bräuninger, Ph.D., addresses this issue in her concise and timely international internet survey.
In her qualitative analysis, Dr. Bräuninger presents responses from 113 dance/movement therapy (DMT) practitioners who work with the elderly in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Questionnaire responses affirm that DMT with this population increases quality of life and promotes resiliency and physical and psychological health. Moreover, this study supports that the ritualistic nature of DMT offers a safe space in which participants may relax, express a range of feeling states, and form social connections. These practitioners also noted the following positive outcomes for participants: sensory stimulation; reminiscence; an increased ability to cope with anxiety and depression issues; and the communication and behavioral changes associated with dementia and cognitive impairment.
Bräuninger’s work is a must-read for anyone in elder care especially clinicians, therapists and caregivers.
References and Resources
- Lothian, K., & Philp, I. (2001). Maintaining the dignity and autonomy of older people in the healthcare setting. British Medical Journal, 322(7287), 668-670.
- Querfurth, H., & LaFerla, F. (2010). Alzheimer’s disease: Review article. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(4), 329-340.
- Blog Post: The Good Old Days: Dance/Movement Therapy With Older Adults
- Blog Post: Dancing with Persons with Dementia
- ADTA Talk: Dance/Movement Therapy and Dementia