Charity support brings dance workshops to elderly patients

07 January 2019

Charity support brings dance workshops to elderly patients
Weekly dance classes at Charing Cross Hospital are helping elderly patients stay active and socialise, boosting their recovery as they prepare to return home.

A grant from Imperial Health Charity has brought Akademi’s South Asian dance workshops to patients on the Lady Skinner ward, getting them out of their beds and exercising while meeting other patients.

Diana Belshaw, Senior Sister at the hospital, believes the programme has caused big improvements to their recovery:

“I’ve seen multiple benefits from the workshops. Patients are more talkative, they engage more with the staff and each other and they say that it helps them feel less stiff. It’s even increased their appetite!

“It gives them something to do to break up the days, which can be long and tiring for them, and promotes independence. We would miss the workshops if we didn’t have them.”

The Lady Skinner ward is for elderly patients recovering from inpatient care at the Trust, but long periods of inactivity can sometimes cause a loss of agility and feelings of isolation.

Akademi’s classes, led by a trained instructor, are geared towards making sure any patient can be included, regardless of how mobile they are. Sessions compliment the work of the therapies team, making use of movements that can aid patients in day to day tasks.

Claire Farmer, Project Officer at Akademi, said: “We are delighted to offer patients on the Lady Skinner ward a weekly opportunity to explore their creativity as they prepare to return home from hospital.

“It’s wonderful to see older adults rediscover movement they thought they had lost, build their confidence and ability to express themselves creatively.”

To read more about Akademi’s Hospital Programme, visit their website.