Efficacy of Dance Movement on the Wellbeing of the Elderly in Ghana
In Ghana, one major contributing factor to the poor wellbeing of the aged is associated with inactivity and sedentary lifestyle. As seniors age, the rate at which they engage in physical activity decreases. This makes their inactive bodies prone to diseases such as muscle mass reduction, osteoporosis, and poor balancing, less mobility endurance, flexibility, and general loss of wellbeing. Meanwhile the aging populace forms a crucial part of Ghana’s human resource base, thus, the need to safeguard their pre- and post-retirement health. Currently, the application of dance movement technique as a physical wellness and fitness activity in improving the wellbeing of the elderly in Ghana is under explored. This was an exploratory case study which set out to examine the efficacy of dance movement in improving the general wellbeing of the elderly in Ghana. The triangulation method design was adopted to collect data from 20 participants (male and female) who enrolled into the dance for fitness program organized by Centre for Aging Studies (CFAS) in collaboration with the Department of Dance Studies at the University of Ghana Legon. Each participant’s systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels were recorded before and after each session and questionnaires administered through series of weekly interviews. Other instruments such as observation of the participants, video recording of the sessions, and face-to-face interviews were also used to ascertain the efficacy of dance movement on the general wellbeing of the seniors. The study indicates that the aged or seniors in Ghana desire to engage in dance as soma-physical activity to prevent and/or reduce some age-related diseases and to improve their general wellbeing.
The findings suggest that helping seniors make the right choice towards healthy and successful ageing goes a long way to helping them age gracefully. This is because successful ageing is a socioeconomic need. Therefore, using dance movement technique as a preventive tool for improving the wellbeing of the elderly within our society is likely to minimize the high cost of medical care for the aged. Again, the application of soma-wellness and its knowledge has the tendency to decongest and ease the pressure on our ill-equipped hospitals and other health facilities especially in this COVID- 19 era.