Dance to Health responds to the issue of older people’s falls. Falls represent the most frequent and serious type of accident in people aged 65 and over 10% of ambulance calls are due to older people’s falls. After a fall, an older person is 50% likely to have seriously impaired mobility and 10% will die within a year. Falls destroy confidence, increase isolation and reduce independence. Falls cost the NHS £2.3 billion per year.
The health system has problems with falls prevention, Dance to Health has solutions.
Dance to Health uses the two evidence-based falls prevention programmes, Otago and FaME. In 2016 through a partnership with Later Life Training, dance artists from Cheshire Dance, Dancing in Devon, Dance East, East London Dance and South East Dance were trained in Otago and FaME. Six pilots in London, Cheshire and Oxfordshire took place in partnership with dance organisations and Age UK, health and wellbeing centres, housing association and Jewish Care.
Thanks to £2.1 million expansion from public and private sector funding, phase 1 roll out of the programme started in England and Wales in November 2017. Dance to Health sessions are now taking place in Birmingham, Oxfordshire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, South Wales and Norfolk with support from regional Dance and Health partners.