Older adults & people with dementia should have an opportunity to dance every day. So it says on this 2014 Poneer Network quilt.
Next Friday, September 5, I'll be leading a Memory Cafe for JF&CS in Waltham, MA on the power of dance and movement to inspire, uplift and heal. It should be loads of fun.
A couple who had been to a similar workshop I led for the Alzheimer's Association of Mass./NH for people with early stage Alzheimer's and partners in July told others they had loved it and that September 5 would be a treat. Download Memory Cafe, September 5, 2014.
The Café will be open from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The location is JF&CS Headquarters, 1430 Main Street, Waltham. Guests can park in any of the spots surrounding our building. There is no charge. Donations gratefully accepted. Family member of all ages, including kids, are welcome.Those requiring personal care assistance must bring a care partner with them, as staff and volunteers are not able to provide this assistance.
Contact Beth Soltzberg at 781-693-5628 or email@example.com.
Once again, I return to the question of what is dance. This time it's motivated by a familiar situation. A regular member of a dance/movement therapy group I run was distracted by someone looking in through the window as we moved expressively to music. I suggested that in the mainstream U.S. culture, it is unacceptable to dance unless one has had a few drinks. I have been told this so very many times in so many settings. I asked one woman if this was true in Cuba when she was growing up. She said no, that in Cuba everyone danced, young and old. I asked the woman from South Africa if it were true in South Africa. She said no, that in South Africa people danced without a reason. I asked an African American woman if it were true in the culture she group up in. She said that in her home, dancing was against their religion. They had to sneak to dance. Then this woman, ordinarily so quiet, told us that in prayer meetings, it could happen that people began to move spontaneously. This was not called dance, "but it was dance" she told me. "I know dance when I see it." When I shared with the group that that although I talk plenty, dance and expressive movement is my native and therefore most basic and necessary language, it seemed that the entire group settled a bit more deeply into our bodies.
South Shore Senior News, Helping Seniors Age Well and Enjoy Themselves While Doing It!, www.southshoresenior.com
The August 2014 issue is a magazine devoted to informative articles mostly about How Happiness Can Happen. On the last page, editor Greg Porell included the following:
Dance Programs Revitalize and Inspire
Dance for Connection is an innovative program based in Newton that offers exhilarating dance for older adults and people with dementia. The programs are directed by Donna Newman-Bluestein, a dance/movement therapist and founder of Dance for Connection. Newman-Bluestein has worked with older adults for 35 years. Her programs are designed to revitalize and inspire improved health through movement, enhancing the mind-body connection.
The programs provide an open structure that incorporates participants’ gestures, ideas and questions, resulting in each group being unique and participants feeling empowered. The programs also train dance professionals and caregivers to bring dance to older adults and communicate non-verbally with people afflicted with dementia. Donna is available to lead programs at assisted living residences, long-term care facilities, councils on aging, senior centers and housing for older adults.
I appreciate Porell's invitation to share information about my program which I offer in the South Shore, along with the Greater Boston Area. His edits of what I had written were minor, except for one word. I would never say that a person is afflicted with dementia. It is not mine to determine whether a person is troubled, burdened, or distressed by a disease. I simply note that they are diagnosed with the disease.
AgeSong in San Francisco and Oakland is offering 2 talks, Dementia Beyond Disease: Forgetting The Nonessential and The Depth of Eldership as part of their Speaker's Series. with Dr. Allen Power and Nader Shabahangi. Having just heard Dr. Power speak at the Pioneer Network conference and getting his book, I highly recommend getting to hear him. firstname.lastname@example.org