South Shields dance classes for older people are reducing falls

Dance class participants in South Shields
Dance class participants in South Shields

A dance class in South Tyneside is strictly in step with lowering falls risk for older people

South Tyneside’s community falls service is backing a dance programme which is helping older people in South Tyneside and Sunderland to improve their mobility and, ultimately, their overall health.

Participants were assessed at the start of the Falling on Your Feet programme at Ocean Road Community Association, South Shields, and everyone’s mobility improved.

Dean Metz, falls specialist physiotherapist with South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Everybody’s score improved.”

Falling on Your Feet is a 10-week programme, run by Tyneside-based Helix Arts for people over the age of 65 living independently who had experienced a fall or were at risk of falling.

Mr Metz went along to observe one of the hour-long sessions and was impressed by what he saw.

He said: “Here was a group of people moving, dancing, and having fun. The purpose is to build strength, confidence and balance, whilst being involved in a creative endeavour.

“Apart from helping to prevent falls, innovative programmes such as this can have far-reaching consequences in terms of reducing social isolation, preserving people’s independence and generally improving the health and well-being of the growing over-65 population.”

Catherine Hearne, Chief Executive of Helix Arts, said: “We were delighted that South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s community falls service was able to demonstrate that the strength and balance of participants in Falling on Your Feet showed improvement.”

To find out more about Helix Arts and about future Falling on Your Feet courses, call 0191 241 4931, email foyf.helixarts.com or go to the website www.helixarts.com