Our nation’s greatest challenge in the 21st century will be to control healthcare costs for seniors. Too many seniors are ignorant of preventative health choices and are immobilized by their health challenges. This is disempowering attitude contributes to a growing incidence of lifestyle diseases especially in old age and an emphasis on treatment as opposed to prevention. The solution is not going to come from technology or from the government but from the individual. The challenge is how do motivate seniors to start moving or eating well? In a recent article in the NY Times Jane Brody explores the link between motivation and movement. In her article Michelle Segar a Motivational Psychologist at the University of Michigan argues that the “health” and :weight loss brand” doesn’t create desire in people to move. More emotional impulses are at work such as aspirational, social, spiritual, love and sexual which have a greater effect on our behavior than we realize.
We have found a way to rebrand exercise as sexy and fun and have produced an engaging combination of Yoga movements and breathing exercises with Salsa dance rhythms that are getting nursing home residents up from ttheir chairs.
We operate in approximately 50 different eldercare facilities across the New York Metropolitan area and hope to expand further.
In these classes many seniors are getting up ad out of the wheelchair to dance and their nurses, staff, families and caregivers are dancing with them and in the halls. Yomenco (www.yomenco.com) with its Latin/African music creates a bridge to the caregivers, strengthening community and enhancing quality of life for everyone. This program creates this type of spontaneous joy, self -confidence and celebration, amazing things are happening.
Yomenco helps them all to be present in the moment so they can escape their physical, mental and emotional challenges, and remember and connect to moments of joy especially the importance of music and dance. Scientific studies at institutions such as Harvard University reveal that these exercises have the potential to slow the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
We have also developed a Therapeutic Yoga program for rehabilitation that can reduce re-admission rates. “by blending the ancient Eastern Healing Art of Yoga with Western Science we can empower patients, especially seniors to partner in their health and wellness. The patients in these programs have recognized improved breathing, sleep, emotional well-being and enhanced balance.”