Dance/Movement Therapy and Sensory Stimulation: A Holistic Approach to Dementia Care

Abstract

Nearly 135 million people worldwide will be afflicted with dementia by 2050 (Robinson et al., 2015). Dementia is a devastating and progressive illness that results in the loss of one’s sense of self and feelings such as frustration, depression, and anxiety. Dance/movement therapy (DMT) is a useful, non-pharmacologic method for the treatment of dementia, as this discipline enhances quality of life, may attenuate cognitive decline, and is cost-effective; DMT engages the sensory systems and stimulates physical, emotional, and cognitive functioning. This article affirms that sensory stimulation in DMT is a holistic, economical, and fruitful approach for dementia care.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Berrol, C. F. (1992). The neurophysiologic basis of the mind-body connection in dance/movement therapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 14(1), 19–29.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Berrol, C. F., & Katz, S. S. (1985). Dance/movement therapy in the rehabilitation of individuals surviving severe head injuries. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 8(1), 46–66.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Berrol, C. F., Katz, S. S., & Ooi, W. L. (1997). Dance/movement therapy with older adults who have sustained neurological insult: A demonstration project. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 19(2), 135–160.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bräuninger, I. (2012). The efficacy of dance movement therapy group on improvement of quality of life: A randomized controlled trial. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 39(4), 296–303.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bräuninger, I. (2014). Dance movement therapy with the elderly: An international internet-based survey undertaken with practitioners. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 9(3), 138–153.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Burns, A., Byrne, J., Ballard, C., & Holmes, C. (2002). Sensory stimulation in dementia. British Medical Journal, 325(7376), 1312–1313.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Burns, A., Dening, T., & Baldwin, R. (2001). Mental health problems. British Medical Journal, 322(7289), 789–791.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. Fersch, I. (1980). Dance/movement therapy: A holistic approach to working with the elderly. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 3(2), 33–43.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Gilbert, P. F. C. (2001). Learning and memory: Systems and functions. Cognitive Brain Research, 12(1), 61–74.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Goldstein-Levitas, N. J. (2015). Dance/movement therapy with institutionalized older adults: An effective, holistic intervention for loss adaptation. In S. L. Brooke & D. A. Miraglia (Eds.), Using the creative therapies to cope with grief and loss (pp. 263–282). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Hoe, J., Hancock, G., Livingston, G., Woods, B., Challis, D., & Orrell, M. (2009). Changes in the quality of life of people with dementia living in care homes. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 23(3), 285–290.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  12. Jackson, K. (2014). Expressive therapies for people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Social Work Today, 14(1), 1–10.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Karkou, V. & Meekums, B. (2014). Dance movement therapy for dementia (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 3. Art. No.: CD011022. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD011022

  14. Levy, F. J. (2005). Dance/movement therapy; A healing art (2nd rev ed.). Reston, VA: National Dance Association, an Association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

  15. Lindner, E. C. (1982). Dance as a therapeutic intervention for the elderly. Educational Gerontology, 8(2), 167–174.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Logsdon, R., Gibbons, L., McCurry, S., & Teri, L. (1999). Assessing quality of life in Alzheimer’s disease: Patient and caregiver reports. Journal of Mental Health and Aging, 5(1), 21–32.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Lykkeslet, E., Gjengedal, E., Skrondal, T. H., & Storjord, M. (2014). Sensory stimulation- a way of creating mutual relations in dementia care. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. doi:10.3402/qhw.v9.23888.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  18. Maddock, R. J., Garrett, A. S., & Buonocore, M. H. (2001). Remembering familiar people: The posterior cingulated cortex and autobiographical memory retrieval. Neuroscience, 104(3), 667–676.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Matherly, N. (2014). Navigating the dance of touch: An exploration into the use of touch in dance/movement therapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 36(1), 77–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Mayeux, R. (2010). Early Alzheimer’s disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(23), 2194–2201.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Mitchell, S. L., Teno, J. M., Kiely, D. K., Shaffer, M. L., Jones, R. N., Prigerson, H. G., et al. (2009). The clinical course of advanced dementia. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(16), 1529–1538.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  22. Needler, M. W., & Baer, M. A. (1982). Movement, music and remotivation with the regressed elderly. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 8(9), 497–503.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Pallaro, P. (1996). Self and body self: DMT and the development of object relations. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 23(2), 113–119.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Pashby, P., Hann, J., & Sunico, M. E. S. (2009). Dementia care planning: Shared experience and collaboration. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 52(8), 837–848.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Pinniger, R., Thorsteinsson, E. B., Brown, R. F., & McKinley, P. (2013). Tango dance can reduce distress and insomnia in people with self-referred affective symptoms. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 35(1), 60–77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Robertson, L. (1987). Memory functioning in those who age normally and abnormally: A literature review. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 50(2), 53–58.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Robinson, L., Tang, E., & Taylor, J. P. (2015). Dementia: Timely diagnosis and early intervention. British Medical Journal, 350, h3029.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  28. Rossini, P. M., & Pauri, F. (2000). Neuromagnetic integrated methods tracking human brain mechanisms of sensorimotor areas ‘plastic’ reorganization. Brain Research Review, 33(2–3), 131–154.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Sandel, S. L. (1978). Reminiscence in movement therapy with the aged. Art Psychotherapy, 5(4), 217–221.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Sandel, S. L., Chaiklin, S., & Lohn, A. (Eds.). (1993). Foundations of dance/movement therapy: The life and work of Marian Chace. Columbia, MD: Marian Chace Memorial Fund of the American Dance Therapy Association.

  31. Sandel, S. L., & Johnson, D. R. (1987). Waiting at the gate: Creativity and hope in the nursing home. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 9(3), 1–185.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Schmais, C. (1985). Healing processes in group dance therapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 8(1), 17–36.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Srinivasan, V., Maestroni, G. J. M., Cardinali, D. P., Esquifino, A. I., Pandi Perumal, S. R., & Miller, S. C. (2005). Melatonin, immune function and aging. Immunity and Ageing. doi:10.1186/1742-4933-2-17.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  34. Stone, R. (2011). Long-term care for the elderly. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Tija, J., Briesacher, B. A., Peterson, D., Lin, Q., Andrade, S. E., & Mitchell, S. L. (2014). Use of medications of questionable benefit in advanced dementia. JAMA, 174(11), 1763–1771.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Vozzella, S. (2007). Sensory stimulation in dementia care: Why it is important and how to implement it. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 23(2), 102–113.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Wiggins, R. (1978). The importance of sensory stimulation in caring for the elderly. Journal of Practical Nursing, 28(2), 24–26.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Natasha Goldstein-Levitas.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Goldstein-Levitas, N. Dance/Movement Therapy and Sensory Stimulation: A Holistic Approach to Dementia Care. Am J Dance Ther 38, 429–436 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10465-016-9221-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Dance/movement therapy
  • Dementia
  • Sensory stimulation