As part of the Dementia Go physical activity programme for people living with dementia and their care-givers, Gwynedd Council is providing an afternoon of dance and fun with one of the stars of the popular Strictly Come Dancing television programme.
DementiaGo is a weekly programme which is run in five of the Council’s leisure centres and includes exercises which help improve stamina, strength, balance and coordination. Participants also have the opportunity to take part in games and enjoy Boccia – a form of seated bowls and table tennis, and most importantly all classes finish with a cuppa and a chat.
Emma Quaeck, the DementiaGo Project manager said: “Often when people are diagnosed with dementia they lose confidence and stop taking part in activities they once enjoyed, this may lead to isolation and loneliness.
“This can also apply to carers of people living with dementia as they struggle to cope. However, with a little support and with the introduction of these classes in their community they can still get involved and not only benefit from the exercise but also the social element.”
As part of the project Emma is keen to organise regular special events, getting people from all over the county together for active days out. One such event is being run at the Glaslyn Leisure Centre in Porthmadog on Friday, August 11, as Russell Grant, star of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing will lead a Dementia Dancing afternoon, which gets underway at 2pm.
Russell said: “I will be showing people the basic steps for samba, salsa and cha cha as taught by my Strictly Come Dancing partner, Flavia Cacace.
“Although we are happy for you to just get up and do your own thing! It will be a day for dancing, singing, laughing and sharing memories. It will be held on what would have been my Nanny Alice’s 121st birthday – she passed over with Alzheimer’s when she was 99 years and 6 months – promising a day of love and joy.”
Councillor Craig ab Iago, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member who leads on Leisure matters added: “We are proud of the fact that a number of the Council’s leisure centres offer these popular DementiaGo sessions. Not only do they offer a chance for people living with dementia along with their care-givers to get out and take part in physical activity, but they also provide a chance to enjoy, socialise and chat with friends. I’m sure this will be an afternoon full of fun – and I would encourage anyone interested to go for it.”
The DementiaGo Dancing afternoon is open to everyone, at a cost of £2 per person which will be donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK. The Good Life café at the leisure centre have kindly agreed to provide tea and cake at the end of the dancing and further entertainment will be provided by the U3A singing and ukulele group.
For further information or to attend the session, please contact Emma Quaeck on 01766 512711.