Diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia can be debilitating not for those afflicted, but friends and family as well. And while there is no cure yet, there are ways to treat patients and offer slight reprieves.
One such treatment is dance.
This weekend, Upper Peninsula Home, Health, and Hospice is hosting an event called Dancing Through Life. It’s designed to get those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia on their feet and grooving.
The theory is that remembrance is easier when there’s an action, or procedure, associated with it.
Jeff Nyquist, CEO of Upper Peninsula Home, Health, and Hospice, said, “When we’re asking individuals to dance, we’re asking them to do something that triggers a different pathway and gets them activated. It can have cascading effects in your neurons, in your brain, that bring you back in to be able to communicate. All the memories of the ’40s and ’50s come back too and it’s just magic.”
This is the first year Upper Peninsula Home, Health, and Hospice has put on Dancing Through Life, but they are excited to get the community together for a good time.
“It’s been too long since this community has had dance events,” Nyquist said. “In the ’40s and ’50s it was weekly, or at least bi-weekly, that people knew that they could go out and be with their community, and be inspired and be re-energized, especially as we’re rolling into the winter here. We need to stay social; we need to stay engaged.”
Along with their annual Dancing with the Stars, this is just one of many events Upper Peninsula Home, Health, and Hospice holds throughout the year.
Dancing Through Life is this Saturday at the Marquette Regional History Center from 1 to 4 p.m. It is free to the public and will feature professional dancers and a 17 piece big band.