Alzheimer Hellas presents a project with dance and neuro-degenerative disorders at its heart

29/04/2024

ABB Reportages, an ERASMUS+ project, is a cross-cultural collaboration between France and Greece that sets dance and neuro-degenerative disorders at its heart. Through training, workshops, creation, and research, this project opens a pathway for seniors coping with neuro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease to become involved in a process of cultural creation based on tango and Greek dance, that will be exposed to a wider public at The Seniors Tangueros Olympiads 2024. Both tango and Greek dances are recognised by UNESCO as intangible heritage. Furthermore, this is a creative project that culminates during the Olympiads where they will be able to meet and exchange with other seniors and healthcare workers from Greece and beyond, enhancing international collaboration and a feeling of belonging. The project started in March and the ‘therapeutic tango training’ took place in France. 

A micro-credential was provided by the University of Bourgogne to the participants attending this four-day training, in order to autonomously perform tango for elderly people. On behalf of Alzheimer Hellas, two professionals received this training to implement the workshops in Thessaloniki, in line with the vision of the project. The training was dedicated to professional caregivers, such as assistants in gerontology, nurses, neurologists, psychologists, art therapists, but also dancers, musicians, sports students of adapted sport, interns, volunteers, and families. It also welcomed different nationalities. This heterogeneous group then came together with elderly people and their own caregivers making it an inter-generational project combining different ages and backgrounds; creating and promoting learning opportunities among all citizens and generations. 

The tango workshops are based upon the Dinzel method adapted to the needs and capacities of older people, specifically those affected by Alzheimer’s. This approach aims at rehabilitating elderly people by stimulating their motor capacities, but reaches further as it encompasses both the didactic and the therapeutic aspects, tackling both physical and mental health, and well-being. The expertise of Alzheimer Hellas in research concerning ageing is extremely important to this project. The wide variety of adapted activities it offers, promoting learning and well-being for older people with neuro-degenerative issues, lead to great field experience which is necessary to this project.