As part of Dementia Action Week DanceEast announce they have been awarded funding to rollout their project, Dance from Home, funded by the Suffolk County Council’s Fairer Health and Wellbeing Project Fund. This will provide the residents of three care homes; Sherrington House (Ipswich), Prince George House (Ipswich), and Cedrus House (Stowmarket) the opportunity to take part in dance activities.
As sector leaders in dance and age equality, DanceEast piloted a package of COVID secure dance activities with Sherrington House, supported by COVID-core funds from Suffolk Community Foundation. This included in-person dance classes with local artists through the windows of the home, one to one phone calls with particularly isolated individuals and pre-recorded DVDs to encourage the residents to dance when they felt like it. Now, the ambition is to develop the activities and work with more care homes, making a difference to more people.
Dance from Home will provide the residents some much needed joy while improving their physical wellbeing through active engagement in movement exercises and creative dance – strengthening mobility, balance, and coordination as well as increasing social interaction amongst resident’s and care staff, helping to reduce anxiety and promote a sense of community.
Commenting on the project, Angela Hodge, Customer Relations Manager at Cedrus House said, “The residents can’t wait to restart the sessions with DanceEast. Residents enjoy keeping fit and active, they love music and dancing, and relish working with the dancers. We’re sure there’ll be lots of laughter too, particularly as our colleagues are sure to get involved!”
Both Sherrington House and Prince George House have a high percentage of residents with Dementia and therefore, Dance from Home will continue to focus on analogue rather than digital delivery making sure all residents are able to take part in dance activities. Sessions will make best use of outdoor spaces, large windows for non-contact delivery and purpose-built visitor pods located within some of the care homes.
“Residents can’t wait to get started with the DanceEast sessions,” said Julie Dennis, Customer Relations Manager at Prince George House. “While the sessions will still need to be Covid-safe, due to ongoing restrictions, they’re going to be lots of fun. The residents love music, dancing and keeping active, and are looking forward to learning some mini routines.”