The effect of a dance and music programme on the functional ability of the residents of an old age home in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
Gqada, Nomusa Constance
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Life expectancy has increased rapidly since the beginning of the twentieth century and people aged 65 and older form the fastest growing segment of the population. With the onset of old age, comes social, physical and psychological challenges that result in morbidity and loss of independent life. For some of the socially and economically marginalized elderly this often means living in a long term facility. This study determined the effect of a dance and music programme on balance and function in the residents of a selected old age home in Pietermaritzburg. Aim of the study The study determined the effect of a dance and music programme on the balance and functional ability of the residents of the old age home. Methodology A pre-test/post-test experimental design was used in this study. The eligible participants were randomly assigned to two groups, the experimental and the control groups. The experimental group participated in the 12 week programme of a dance and music programme offered twice weekly while the control group received standard care. Both groups’ functional abilities and balance capabilities were assessed before and after the intervention. Results The results revealed that dance and music programme did not statistically improve balance and function. Function improved in the experimental group post-test compared to the pre-test. Positive feelings expressed during the classes indicate that the intervention had a positive effect on the participants. Conclusion The dance and music programme improved function. It is recommended that residents of the geriatric home be offered this dance and music programme as a long term activity.