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Insights for Aging Services Professionals - Dementia Care Strategies: The Transformative Power of Dance

Caring for an individual with dementia requires a multifaceted approach focused on enhancing their quality of life. One particularly transformative method within dementia care is dance.

From providing a combination of physical, emotional, and social benefits to fostering a sense of connection and joy, dance has been found to be an excellent avenue to stimulate an individual’s memory, improve their mood, and encourage social interaction.

As a care strategy, dance can be an engaging way for individuals to experience moments of joy, clarity and happiness while breaking through the barriers of their condition and reconnecting with their own sense of identity and well-being.

Aging services professionals tune in to discover key insights and helpful resources on the transformative power of dance in dementia care.

​​Click to listen to this episode:

About Our Guests:

Rachel Bar, PhD, Director, Research and Health, Canada's National Ballet School; Fellow, Trent Centre for Aging and Society

Rachel is the Director of research and Health at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS). She completed her PhD in Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University and her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Trent University's Trent Centre for Aging & Society. As a dance artist, she has been part of the multidisciplinary team that developed Baycrest and NBS’ approach to dance programming for older adults. As a researcher, she has been involved in several projects investigating how and why older adults can benefit from accessible dance innovations, including older adults living with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Linda Meek, Business Development & Relations Manager, ComForCare Home Care - Ottawa-Champlain

Linda draws inspiration from her upbringing in a small Scottish village, where her grandmother instilled the value of caring for seniors. With a background in Gerontology, Linda has dedicated over 20 years to senior-centric organizations, serving as the Executive Director in various retirement homes across the Ottawa area for 17 years. Actively engaged in the community, she has held roles as a Board Member and Educator for the Ontario Retirement Communities Association, a Board Member for the Council on Aging, and a participant in various committees. Currently contributing to the Algonquin College advisory committee, Linda's mission is to ensure that older adults and their families receive the care they deserve, irrespective of their chosen home setting. Her commitment extends to supporting and educating seniors to navigate the intricacies of the healthcare system, reflecting a lifelong passion for positively impacting the lives of seniors in Ottawa-Champlain.

Show Notes:

  • Overview of Canada’s National Ballet School and Rachel’s work
  • Insights on the Arts Institute Research vision and their focus on dementia
  • Information on the Sharing Dance Program and research findings supporting program development
  • ComForCare Home Care’s approach to professional caregiver education, training support through DementiaWise, incorporation of dancing into care strategies, and joyful memories that positively impact aging in place at home
  • Best practice strategies for Aging Services professionals when implementing dementia and education initiatives for older adults and caregiving teams 
  • Helpful resources for Aging Services professionals

Episode Resources:

Listen to more ComForConnections episodes here >>

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