Around Ealing October 2018 | Page 18

DEMENTIA Keep on moving Older people are marching, dancing and clapping to keep active at popular sessions, reports Jack Butler. A ccording to the Mental Health Foundation, studies have found physical activity can cut the chances of people aged over 65 from developing dementia; and, for people who have already developed the disease, physical activity can help to delay further decline. The half-hour sessions at the council’s Michael Flanders Centre, in Acton, involve specially designed chair- based exercises to provide a gentle but useful work-out. They are put on by 18 around ealing    October 2018 StayActive4Life and one of its personal trainers Joe McCarthy said: “We put some music on and it is a nice way to start the day. We do marching in the chair, stretching and mobility. Then we play around with different equipment like plates and bottles filled with seeds that we shake around, which is quite a fun way to get exercise.” Jean and Anne, both attend the sessions once a week, Anne said: “It is nice. It gets you going and helps you move your joints.” Jean (pictured above) said: “When I was young I used to dance and I am still doing it now as much as I can.” According to the Ealing Public Health annual report for 2017- 18, more than 2,200 of the borough’s over-65s have been diagnosed with dementia, which represents 77% of our older population. This is projected to grow to more than 5,000 people by 2035 as the population grows and ages. Councillor Binda Rai, the council’s cabinet member for adult services, said: “We know that dementia diagnoses are increasing and will continue to into the near future. Projects like this are a step in the right direction at looking after the growing number of residents who having to live with dementia. “The council has always championed physical activity, particularly through its Get Moving campaign, and this project encourages more physical activity because it demonstrates that, regardless of age, you can spend time with other people and keep active at the same time.” Funding for the project has come from the South Acton Estate Community Board. Read more, and watch a video, at features/sit-and-move