Nostalgia for ‘dancing days’ as seniors strut their stuff for the day

Care home residents and their carers strut their stuff on the dance floor at the Dementia Tea Dance at St Faith's Church Parish Centre in Lee-on-the-Solent   Picture by David George
Care home residents and their carers strut their stuff on the dance floor at the Dementia Tea Dance at St Faith's Church Parish Centre in Lee-on-the-Solent Picture by David George
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OLDER people living in Lee-on-the-Solent and the surrounding area took to the dance floor, showing that age doesn’t necessarily leave you with two left feet.

A summer tea dance was held for senior citizens and their carers at St Faith’s Church Parish Centre, aiming to tackle loneliness among older people.

The event, which was not exclusively for those with dementia, saw almost 100 people turn out for tea, cake and a dance to some of their favourite songs from years gone by.

One of those who attended the event was Albert Harrab, 85, from Lee-on-the-Solent.

He says that events like these are important for getting everyone out and about together.

Albert said: ‘I was delighted when I received an invitation to the tea dance.

‘I’ve been able to come along with a few friends and we have had a brilliant time.

‘Events like this are wonderful because everyone is able to come and enjoy themselves – I fear my best dancing days may be behind me, but it’s nice to all have so much fun together.’

Another person who enjoyed the tea dance was 91-year-old Christabel Dewane.

She said: ‘This is the first time I have been and I absolutely love it.

‘I love dancing and the music is fantastic – it reminds me of all those evenings I used to spend having a jig at the dance hall.

‘To do something like that again is very special indeed.’

Sarah Merrick, activities assistant at the Thorngate Churcher Trust, said: ‘I love that we can all enjoy ourselves together – it’s a nice afternoon and something we wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to do.

‘Music is something they all respond brilliantly to and it’s always very popular in the home as well.’

Organised by the Fareham and Gosport Dementia Action Group, the tea dance was sponsored by Home Instead Fareham and Gosport, Gracewell Healthcare Fareham, Eight Wealth Management and Fareham Lions Club.

Kate Heggarty from Gracewell Healthcare Fareham said: ‘This event is about giving older people the chance to get out, move about and socialise together.

‘Some of those people who come from their own homes don’t get the chance to spend as much time with other people – so it’s about combatting loneliness as well as doing something for those who have dementia.’