Studying social inclusion in people with dementia

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“Answering questions of vital importance to the well-being of Canada’s seniors by making connections between community organizations like Community Care Peterborough and a world-class institution like Canada’s National Ballet School is an example of what Dr. Skinner does best."

Neil Emery, Vice-President, Research and Innovation

Studying social inclusion in people with dementia

Researchers at Trent University have partnered with Canada’s National Ballet School to study the effectiveness of the new Sharing Dance for Active Seniors program. The program uses the power of dance to address common health issues in the senior population, specifically the impacts of social isolation and falls. Dance has been proven to help improve the aerobic power, muscle strength, balance and mental health of participants at any age.

The first pilot class of the project was held in Ennismore, a small village just outside Peterborough from February to April 2017. Nearly 20 people ranging in age from 60 to 90 years old participated in the class and demonstrated positive, early results.

In the pilot’s current phase, Mark Skinner — Canada Research Chair in Rural Aging, Health and Social Care and director of the Trent Centre for Aging & Society — is employing graduate students to help compile and analyze the raw data required to produce a rigorous study of the project’s aims.

The program will be tested in 20 communities across Canada, and is expected to expand to more than 120 communities in the next five years.

For more information, visit Trent University.