Peninsula Volunteers Rosener House has been selected as one of just seven sites around the world for the research project “Caravan of Memory,” to demonstrate the positive impact of music and movement, especially Tango, on older adults with dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. We will be the first in the United States to be involved in this project, which originated in France, sponsored by the University of Bourgogne, and is now also in Buenos Aires. This is a marvelous opportunity to both advance research on non-drug therapeutic interventions for treating Alzheimer’s while also demonstrating the value of adult day services in general and Rosener House in particular.
The unique project is based on pioneering photographic analysis of movement by Etienne-Jules Marey in the 19th century and more recently expanded to therapeutic advantages of movement at the Sports Sciences of University of Bourgogne, where Tango is used as a therapeutic treatment for Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. Other programs use music and other forms of dance, but Tango uses movements of everyday life, requiring dynamic balance, weight transfer, support, and posture.
This project will test the improvement in memory and balance. There will be trainings for staff—professional dance instructors, musicians, and Stanford University and French researchers—who will work with 20 Rosener House participants over 13 weeks. There will be a control group as well. It will be recorded in a film to be produced by ABB Reportages, which previously produced “The Melody of Alzheimer’s,” about this project in France. Check out the video, below!
Our French partners already have received limited funding through foundations. We at Peninsula Volunteers are seeking additional funding to support this project to demonstrate that the Tango activity can prevent falls, strengthen functional capacities, and promote social engagement, thus preserving the quality of life and independence of older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease. The film will encourage others to replicate this project and contribute to a change in the way society views elders.
We are very excited about the intersection of art, science, and health generated by the Tango project. And we hope you will join us in supporting this groundbreaking effort. Please contact Barbara Kalt at 650-322-0126 for more information.