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What Are The Significant Problems That Face Our Life Today

Aging & Health

*Ontario is home to about 1.5million seniors, equivalent to 40 percent of Canada's seniors. By 2028, the numbers of seniors citizens will reach 3 million, including you and me.

**China, with over 100 million people above the age of 60 in 2000 and a senior population that will triple to 300 million by 2025, rank first in the world of the aged and aging. Are our elders more dependent or are their medical rehabilitative needs too readily thought to be "social", and thereby responded to by institutional care?

According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 1 out of every 20 Canadians over the age of 65 has Alzheimer's disease. More importantly, aging is the most common risk factor in developing the disease – the older you are the greater chance of developing the condition.

Over 30 Years Senior Dance Work in Germany

Currently, there are many programs gear to help our senior citizens to stay active and keep fit. Among these is a proven method developed by the Bundesverb and Seniorentanz e.V. (BVST = The German Federal Senior Dance Association) that incorporated dancing and music to do exercise, allowing the elderly to live a more healthy and happy live.

1st Time Canada Joining International Senior Dance Congress 2007

At the 11th International Senior Dance Congress, which took place in Willingen-Germany, (the origins of this philosophy) in May 2007,  about 200 top senior instructors from 14 countries, including Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Luxemburg, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria,  Italy – South Tyrol, Brazil and Canada, came together to exchange their experiences in teaching dance to the elderly.(Canada is new and it is their first time) It was found that after 30 years of promoting dance for the elderly in Germany, those that took part in the activities enjoyed the benefits of greater health and decreased medical costs. Now almost all the states in Germany have agreed to give bonuses for anybody who joins any dance group led by the BVST.

Brain Beat Dance & Ms. Rainbow Dill-Yuen

In Canada, this way of dance is modified by Ms Rainbow Dill-Yuen and has become Brain Beat Dance (BBD). It is for people of all ages, not just for seniors. The initiator, Rainbow Dill-Yuen, has lived in Germany for 35 years and has joined the senior dance program of BVST since 1990. She took the instructor training course from 1997–2002, and has acquired the instructor certificates and license. She has gained considerable experience from teaching many groups in different cities around Germany. She has also organized historical dance festivals for all age groups in various German cities.

Additionally, she is a dance choreographer writing her own dance notations for dance and theatre groups, creating artistic programs and dance projects for people of all ages. She is a member of DaCI (Dance and Child International, a dance organization for children worldwide). As the director of art for the Life Design Inistite in Germany, her specialty is in European historical dance such as ballet, baroque and folkdance. She was the former president of the Regenbogen Kultur Zentrum, a cultural centre.

Brain Beat Dance (bbd) in Canada

 She first introduced BBD to Toronto in January 2003, and provided instructor courses at the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in Scarborough in December 2004. Since then, numerous classes have been organized within the Chinese communities. BBD instructors use special teaching methods to teach seniors to dance with music, which can delay the deterioration of brain cells. BBD can be done standing or sitting, therefore, it can be participated by those who are active, or physically/mentally challenged.

Brain Beat Dance Canada Senior Association (bbdCsa)

This is founded by a group of BBD instructors in 2005. Its aim is to promote its service to seniors in Toronto. It also hopes to conduct research into the direct benefits of this dance on the aging process.

Who Can Help & Support

The Canadian Government can help by providing funds to train more instructors and enable them to acquire work, starting in Toronto, so that seniors would be able to join BBD groups within working distance. Help is also required with the basic studies and research by the Canadian universities. BBD can be seen as pre-senior care, aims at reducing certain aging problems before they happen. This can make Canada a leader in the world in caring the seniors.

Kenneth Rockwood, a Canadian geriatrician, has commented on a common mistaken “solution“ in modern health care to address the complexity of the frail old: instead of getting to grips with how service is provided, they want the frail old people to go away, to some more “appropriate“ place, an example is “gomer“, which stands for “Get out of my Emergency Room.“ It is timely that Currie, in his recent editorial, called for a holistic approach to the care of the frail old presenting acutely.

His words encouraged Ms Rainbow Dill-Yuen to start the BBD Project in Toronto, Canada.

* A Guide for Seniors 2007 – The Ontario Seniors Registry (Office?)

** President´s Message – The Hong Kong Geriatrics Society     Newsletter/ Feb.2005

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