Here at the Blair Academy, we believe that care home activities are super important for a person to help sustain both their physical and mental health. By providing activities you are helping to reduce the risk of diseases such as dementia, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, activities help to combat loneliness which, here at the Blair Academy, we are also helping to combat through hip hop dance. Did you know that “half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all” (Campaigntoendloneliness, 2021). This HAS to change and starts with fighting stereotypes by providing more social and physical activities in care homes.
It is important that we recognise that not every older adult wants to participate in activities that are stereotypically linked to them, such as bingo. Here at The Blair Academy, we are focused on fighting these stereotypes in older adults which is why we provide hip hop classes to educate and change perceptions. It may be a good idea to introduce activities that the participants have never done before, especially physical, and social activities that inspire creativity. Creativity helps to bring sense of achievements and community integration! Some of the benefits of physical activities include strengthening your bones and muscles, improving quality of sleep, and improving memory and brain function.
Why hip hop?
The beauty of hip hop culture is that it does not discriminate, it really is for everyone! We affirm the four principles of hip hop: peace, love, unity and having fun. What is there not to love? By teaching hip hop dance we are helping to bridge the social and generational gap which is so important because there is nothing better than being connected to each other, especially now more than ever. In our hip hop classes participants often reminisce on other times they have danced in the past and we are always happy to have these conversations!
One of the best parts of teaching hip hop to older adults is that majority of the participants have never learnt this dance style before. They are learning something completely new, which helps to aid their independence and strengthen their memory. Hip hop sparks creativity and allows room for expression!
We love hip hop! <3
Some suggestions for activities in care homes:
Join one of our chair based Hip hop dance zoom classes
Music and sound exercises - create a personal playlist for each resident so they can enjoy their favourite songs
Arts and crafts - ask people about traditions from their culture, religion or former profession and use these as inspiration
Sensory games - you can get super creative with food to appeal to lots of senses. Why not try yoghurt painting or building in cheerio sand.
Help break stereotypes and change up activities in care homes!
We hoped you’ve enjoyed our blog, if you like what you’ve read, please share with your peers and organisations.
Written by Sophie from The Blair Academy.