What we do
Dance to Health, an Aesop programme, addresses older people’s falls, which are traumatic and cost the NHS £2.3 billion per year. Current falls-prevention exercise programmes face challenges: patchy provision, low take-up and adherence, and the lack of maintenance classes so gains are lost and investment wasted. Only a minority are evidence-based.
Dance to Health uses the two evidence-based prevention programmes, Otago and FaME. Through a partnership with Later Life Training, which trains exercise professionals to work with older people, dancers have been trained in Otago and FaME to offer a fun, sociable and creative way for older people to participate in falls-prevention exercise.
Thanks to a £2.3 million expansion programme in 2017, Dance to Health is now being rolled out in various locations across England and Wales, in partnership with regional Health Partners and Dance Partners. The programme is now running in Birmingham, Norfolk, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Southend-on-Sea and South Wales, as well in various British Royal Legion Care homes.
I took part in a Dance to Health class and found it a very creative and fluent way to challenge participants’ balance. The instructors and peer motivator are positive and supportive. Dance to Health successfully facilitates falls-prevention for the older population.
Jason Wilson, falls-prevention physiotherapist, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust