Dancing with Dementia helps the elderly cope with memory loss

Despite suffering from dementia, 76-year-old Stephen Gascoyne of Bradway, Sheffield still had the perfect moves as he danced gracefully with his loving wife in his arms.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 4:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 4:22 pm
Stephen Gascoyne, 76 and his wife Maureen Gascoyne, 75 have been dance partners for over 50 years.

And thanks to events such as Dancing with Dementia, it has helped him deal with his memory loss since he was diagnosed with the illness two years ago.

“It is really helpful and I truly enjoy it. I do a lot of walking, too and it helps with my memory. 

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“I try to be as positive as I can. It’s a nice atmosphere here and it is very, very positive,” he said. 

Dancing with Dementia is held monthly throughout Sheffield as it aims to make a difference for those who live with dementia and their families and carers. 

The event, which was held at the Crubicle in the city centre yesterday was attended by both non-residents and residents from several care homes around Sheffield. 

Stephen’s wife, Maureen Gascoyne said this was the fourth time the couple took part in such event, as dance has always been an important part of their lives.

Dementia sufferer Stephen Gascoyne, 76 (fourth from the left) with his wife Maureen Gascoyne, 75 (third from the left), Independent Community Services Consultant Kathy Markwick (on the left), local singers Nick James (second from the left) and Susan St Nicholas (fifth from the left).

“We met at a church when we danced for the first time. We have been dancing for almost 60 years now,” she said.

However, she admitted that it was a bit difficult to come to terms with the fact that her husband is now suffering from dementia.

“He is fine, but for me, it is like losing someone I care about. Dementia is called the long goodbye and that’s what it is,” she said.

Independent Community Services Consultant Kathy Markwick said the monthly event has been a huge success.

Independent Community Services Consultant Kathy Markwick with some of care home residents who attended the event.

“It is brilliant that so much money is going into research into dementia, which is the most debilitating of diseases but it is crucial that we give as much support as possible to enhance the lives of those who are affected,” she said.

During the three-hour event yesterday, the attendees were entertained by local singer Susan St Nicholas and her son, Nick James.