Get in touch

Older Peoples Health Initiative

Through this initiative SS Dance & Wellbeing want to focus on being an alternative community organisation in Kirklees that is encouraging and inspiring people to stay healthy and well for as long as possible. Ageing Well in Kirklees - Director of Public Health Report 17/18 highlights some of the issues we might face as we age and how this may impact on our health and wellbeing.

With our initiative we are helping to tackle issues effectively, working with a variety of partners we aim to bring low impact dance movement sessions that are centrered around the impact on the mind and enhancing positive wellbeing. These sessions will be delivered in community settings, social housing schemes, care homes, wellbeing hubs and day centres across Kirklees and Leeds.

How Do People Feel Locally?

According to Current Living in Kirklees (CLIK) survey - 43% of older people do not feel like they are in good health and 28% of older people are socially isolated. Although it's positive to see that a high number of Kirklees older population feels socially included, 1 in 4 experience feelings of loneliness and isolation. Compared with people who feel in good health, some feel less confident about managing their health. It is evident that the population is changing, people are living longer and this is on course to increase significantly over the next 20 years. As we are more likely to live longer lives it is important that we are doing what we can to ensure that people are not increasing the strain on NHS services and that people are aware of alternative services and activities that are available to them. Currently older people are the largest users of health services, representing two thirds of NHS users. Research shows that 4 out of 10 adult admissions to hospital in 2018 were people aged 65 (Public Health Annual Report). Good physical health significantly increases the likelyhood of good mental health which is why this is one of our social missions to inspire social change though dance. 

Benefits of dance

Dance has been proven to improve brain function in many ways, Dancing in a social environment causes the release of endorphins – the chemical in the brain that reduces stress and pain, resulting in a feeling of wellbeing. No age is too old, just moving to the best of your ability can lift your spirits. One of the growing challenges we face in today's society is dementia - Studies and research show that dancing is one of the activities that can lower the risk of dementia... Research has found that people who dance on a regular basis are known to have a sharper mind and are at a lower risk of developing brain disease in the long term than people who are considered to be non-dancers. 

According to Dance and Dementia UK, "dance has long been recognised as providing a therapeutic benefit, a form of release and a means of expression. Using simple creative movements allows people to express something of their individuality. Working with dance, movement and music we are not relying on short-term memory or language skills but are focusing on peoples strength's feelings and continuing abilities."

Our Older Peoples dance sessions include low impact exercises combined with a variety of different dance styles such as disco, rock'n'roll, bollywood, zumba and theatre jazz.  We work on improving our participants fitness as well as improving muscle strength and balance. These sessions are suitable for all abilities as can be done seated or standing - within all our Older Peoples Health sessions we encourage everyone to get involved. We know that it is extremely important in later life for people to continue to be active and regularly engage in physical activity as it has been proven to help to manage health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. 

What Our Clients Have To Say

We have a laugh with Sophie in the Chair Dance sessions, i always feel better after the class. I also enjoy attending because i get to see all my friends. I would like to see Sophie coming more than once a week!!

Gladys, KNH Syke Fold Grange Chair Dance - Older Peoples Health Initiative

Taking part in the Chair Dance makes me think which is good stimulation for my brain, i really enjoy it!! Always feel good after i have taken part, it helps to relax me.

Jim, KNH Syke Fold Grange - Older Peoples Health Initiative

Taking part in the sessions weekly lifts my mood and it makes me feel like taking a walk so i am continuing to be active. I enjoy the social side to the group, we all have a laugh!!

Mavis, KNH Syke Fold Grange - Older Peoples Health Initiative

I enjoy the Chair Dance because it helps with my coordination. After the session with Sophie i feel younger, this is down to the music choices and the dance moves that we do!

Cath, KNH Syke Fold Grange - Older Peoples Health Initiative

Sophie has been working with our scheme since January 2018 and the tenants who participate all thoroughly enjoy it!! The group has grown bigger and bigger each week, i have noticed that some residents especially the men who never normally join in any activities + initially said “it wasn’t for me” have been hooked. All the tenants think it is positive to do the chair dance exercises and are pleased that the sessions have been extended due to popular demand.

One tenant stated that from taking part in the chair dance exercise session she has felt a slight improvement in her back pain, it now doesn’t ache as much when she goes on her daily walks to Cleckheaton Town. Another tenant said he continues with the some of the moves + exercises that Sophie has shown the class in his own time to ensure that he is keeping up with regular physical activity.

Tracy Lawton, KNH Social Housing Scheme Coordinator, Syke Fold Grange - Older Peoples Health Initiative

Older Peoples Health Initiative

Move it, or lose it

SS Dance & Wellbeing are working to help people in later life to stay active by providing a variety of accessible dance opportunities. Regular physical activity is extremely important to mental and physical health and well-being. Experts recommend participating in physical activity for at least 30 minutes on five or more days a week.

Within our Older Peoples Health sessions it is not just about the movement itself, but also the social setting, that is uplifting. Residents, group members and staff who engage in our sessions get the benefit of making new friends and becoming part of a small community, this helps to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness and increases feelings of postivity. Being involved in one of our dance activities can help to strengthen social bonds. 

Benefits of engaging in SS Dance & Wellbeing Older Peoples Health sessions:

  • Increased fitness, strength, coordination and mood. 
  • Provided with a structured set of dance exercises that focus on the full body.
  •  Prevention of falls.
  •  Reduced risk of stroke or heart attack.
  •  Encourages social interaction and inclusion.
  •  Helps particpants build and sustain relationships.
  •  Encourages individual expression and exploration of feelings.
  •  Stimulates memories and provides opportunities for reminiscence through music and dance.
  •  Can boost self-esteem and confidence.
  •  Live longer.
  •  IT'S FUN!!  

SS Dance & Wellbeing deliver a range of Chair Dance sessions that are accessible for all, these include:

  • Chair-Zumba
  • Low Impact Chair Dance
  • Chair Dancercise

Contact Chief Wellbeing Officer Sophie Simpson for further information about how these sessions could be tailored to your organisation or get in touch to book a FREE taster session in one of the above activities to experience the benefits first-hand.

Class Schedule

Chair Dance (Dementia Friendly)

  • Beech Hall Care Home, 1 Far Fold Lane, Leeds
  • Monday
  • 10:30 - 11:15
  • Older Peoples Health

Chair Dance (Kirklees)

  • KNH Syke Fold Grange, Cleckheaton, BD19 5DP
  • Wednesday
  • 09:30 - 10:30
  • Older Peoples Health

Chair Dance (Kirklees)

  • KNH Oxford Grange, Oxford Road, Gomersal, BD19 4RQ
  • Wednesday
  • 10:45 - 11:45
  • Older Peoples Health

MAEcare Chair Dance

  • St Pauls Presbytery Church, Buck Stone Crescent, Leeds, LS17 5ES
  • Wednesday
  • 13:00 - 14:30
  • Older Peoples Health

Chair Dance (Kirklees)

  • KNH Wessen Court, Marsden, Huddersfield, HD7 6AY
  • Friday
  • 13:00 - 14:00
  • Older Peoples Health

Have a question? Ask Away!

We'll get back in touch with you ASAP! Use our contact form or give us a call on 07748 396070