Dance movement therapy for dementia is mostly about getting into a healing type of relationship where dance and movement are the media. Dancing with people with dementia means relating to them in an embodied manner. It is during the dance that specialists try to relate with people suffering from dementia by understanding their non-verbal type of communication. Through dance these people regain their chance of being in their own bodies and savoring the sensations and the feelings of vitality. This is very important in their attempt to keep people suffering from dementia as connected to reality as possible.
The Social-Emotional Environment
Everything that is being done occurs in a social and emotional context. This means that dancing makes no exception to this rule. Every space is led by an emotional energy or special charge which can be easily felt when proper attention is brought to it. The energy governing a space comes as a sum of energies that govern individual life. When there are people engaged in doing something the energy in the space they share comes as a result of the combination of a multitude of energies coming from each and every person standing in that room and engaging in the activity. The same happens while dancing. When two people dance their energies combine and can influence one another.
How Does it Influence People Suffering from Dementia?
In day to day life not a lot of attention is paid to the social-emotional environment. It is out there but not many people tend to become aware of its existence and the way in which it might influence their life. This is what makes it difficult for them to understand how simple methods such as a simple dance could have any influence on people suffering from a severe condition such as dementia. The basic thing to understand here is that people suffering from dementia are entirely dependent on the social- emotional environment in which they live to be able to survive.
The Way in Which We Treat Them is Very Important
Even if it might seem impossible, it can even be said that these people are specialists in tuning out to other people’s emotions. This is how they manage to live and have become experts in dealing with this. According to how they are treated by those who surround them they tend to react by getting worse or better as far as their health condition is concerned. They feel when they are being judged and devalued. This makes them lack even more in confidence leading to a worse state in terms of health. When they are treated as part of this society they feel valued and they tend to get better.
Non-Verbal Communication Is the Key
Non-verbal communication is very important when it comes to people suffering from dementia. They tend to react much better to this than to normal type of communication and the reasons are more than clear in this case. Through non-verbal communicant, dance, movement we can create a special relationship with people living around us and suffering from this terrible disease. We can make them part of our world by showing them that we are aware of their existence and that we want them to be part of our life. This can be achieved through feelings transmitted through dance and movement and it is much easier than actually saying the words.