Portsmouth care home Hartford Court welcomes dance company Golden Toes to provide seated dance classes for the residents.
The summer sessions include simple choreography influenced by different dance styles such as samba, flamenco and salsa to bring sparkle and joy through dance and music.
The benefits of the sessions are numerous:
- Feel good factor and fun
- Physicality of moving the body is a positive benefit for wellbeing
- Mental stimulation supports residents living with dementia who often find the songs familiar, thus evoking strong memories
- The sessions encourage social interaction with fellow friends
- Breathing and stretching exercises during the sessions help residents’ pace themselves through the classes
- The classes are sensory experiences to encourage participants to touch, see and hear
- Coordination skills to use props such as fans, feathers and flowers fun to each dance.
The sessions are taught regularly by credible and talented dancer Alex Hewitt who began dancing at the age of eight then studied ballet, tap and modern and said: “I first visited Hartford Court in March of this year and each time I visit Hartford Court I get to know each resident a bit better!
“I really enjoy seeing residents become more confident in the classes and getting to know more about all the personalities in the room. The best feedback I’ve recently received after a recent class included a man who told me that I had made him smile and that he hadn’t smiled in nearly six months.”
Michelle Presdee is the General Manager at Hartford Court care home and said: “I think that the classes encourage residents to talk about their lives and share stories with each other which always lifts their spirits. The classes and shows are about making people happy and it’s wonderful seeing the smiles on our residents’ faces when they are dancing!”
Veronique A Murdoch is the Managing Director of Golden Toes and commented: “Our classes encourage the residents to move their bodies in new ways, the most important part of the class is that the residents enjoy themselves.”
Open since 2016, the prestigious purpose-built facility is located at the heart of Guardians Gate, adjacent to St. Marys Hospital on Milton Road in Portsmouth. The state-of-the-art 60-bed care home offers residential and dementia care including respite care and daycare services to the elderly people of Portsmouth and surrounding areas.
The facilities at Hartford Court care home are truly exceptional and welcoming. The reception area incorporates a comfortable seating area, a resident’s shop and a hairdressing and nail salon. The rest of the home boasts a library, a choice of formal and informal dining rooms, a number of lifestyle kitchens and of course plenty of restful communal lounges including The Colonial Lounge, The Captain’s Quarters and the Parlour with lots of subtle influences from local author Charles Dickens.
The quality of build, design and finish are second to none with nautical touches, inspired by the proud Naval History of the city of Portsmouth.
Hartford Care is a family-owned business that has been established for over a century and its respect for residents’ privacy, dignity and individuality is central to its ethos.
Michelle added: “We firmly believe that each and every one of our residents has an absolute right to choose the way they live their lives. We believe this ethos is why we have been recognised for three years in a row as a ‘Top 20 Care Home Group’ in the UK.”