This master's thesis explores the opinions of the elderly people on the impact of the methods of dance movement therapy on their well-being. The theoretical part sheds light on the situation of increasing the percentage of the world's elderly population, i.e. an aging population; physiological, psychological and social aspects of the aging process; concepts of healthy, active, successful aging. The importance of the movement for maintaining health and well-being is emphasized, the policy of Europe and Slovenia for the strategy of a long-living society is presented. I described the therapeutic effects of dancing, the principles and methods of dance-movement therapy and their usage for preventive purposes, for the purpose of personal growth, connection with one's body and emotions, the formation of an integrated personality, and thus the improvement of a person's quality of life on cognitive, physical, psychological and social levels, which can contribute to stronger health and prevention of degenerative diseases. I also described the methods of dance movement therapy that I used in my work.
In the practical part, a qualitative research is conducted on the opinion of older persons on the effects of the methods of dance movement therapy on their well-being (quality of life). The study focuses on elderly participants of the Fužine Day Activity Center and the Association of the people with Parkinson disease and other extrapyramidal disorders Trepetlika, which are facing the challenges of aging and degenerative diseases.
I spent two years leading dance workshops in:
Fužine Day Activity Center for senior citizens' workshops based on methods of dance-movement therapy once a week for one hour / week
at the Association of PD Workshops of dance for PD once a week for 1.5 hours / week.
After the meetings, I conducted semi-structured interviews with six workshop participants. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative analysis. I researched the users' opinion on the effects of the methods with dance-movement therapy on their physical, emotional and social condition, on physical components of health (aerobic capacity, mobility, balance, coordination, proprioception), on the role of structured dance as one of the methods of dance-movement therapy for the elderly, the therapeutic aspects of dance performance, the suitability of various methods of dance-movement therapy as a regular exercise activity for maintaining health and well-being and alleviating the symptoms of degenerative diseases.
The results of the study showed that older people and people with Parkinson's disease have a positive opinion of the effects of dance-movement therapy on their physical, emotional and social condition, on the body's awareness that creative movement and structured dancing are equally important to them, they have positive attitude about performance, if it is not too much to them, they prefer couple dancing, but also enjoy other dance styles, have a positive opinion about the choice of techniques in running workshops and believe that the workshops have a positive effect on all motor capacity: aerobic capacity, agility, strength, balance, coordination and proprioception.