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Dance Therapy to Calm the Tiger in the Patient


While working at a long term care facility about 6 years ago, there was a very strong elderly gentleman who kept falling and was prescribed a geri walker to prevent him from the falls. At HS all the CNAs dreaded helping him get dressed for bed, he was also an alzheimers patient. One day while pushing my med cart and singing I noticed he was following me and moving with the music. For some reason at bedtime they began the same ritual. I left my medcart and asked him if he wanted to dance. We got him out of his geri walker and he and I waltzed around the room with his radio on. Surprising enough, he was not combatant when we tried to get him in to bed. This became a part of his plan of care. It worked. He just wanted to dance.

What a nice story...thanks for sharing it. Wouldn't it be nice if music and dance were incorporated into all LTC facilities? I think the residents would enjoy it...even those who may not appear to be (or cannot) participating may still benefit. by watching and listening. :)

Nurse Ratched, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

There was a lady at the adult day care who would only go to the bathroom (without a big hellraising fuss) if you danced and sang her in - her brain couldn't do that AND realize that she was being bathroomed at the same time, so she didn't fight you lol. It was this bizarre pied piper thing every two hours, but it worked ;).

You are welcome. We have to try what works.

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