The conversations of life

Pole dancing – in an aged care home? Bring it on


A UK aged care home made headlines around the world last week. Why? News emerged residents had been treated to a pole-dancing performance from a local dance group – an act labelled “inappropriate” by local councillors, who said they were “staggered” by the choice of entertainment.

This is a picture of the performance – the dancers are wearing regular dance clothes like leotards, shorts and crop tops.

But even if they had been wearing something more risqué, why should anyone else care if residents enjoyed the performance?

Forget about bingo

We need to rid ourselves of this ageist idea that older people don’t know their own mind.

Residents chose the pole-dancing activity themselves from a list of options because they wanted “more modern activities”. They were also given the choice of whether they wanted to attend.

Most of us worry about going into aged care – because we imagine we will lose our independence and no longer be able to make decisions for ourselves as we have always done.

So anything that gives residents more choices – and lets them maintain their interests and hobbies when they enter aged care – has got to be a good thing.

Encore Car Homes, which runs the home, says they will continue to “offer residents a chance to experience appropriate, new and progressive activities.”

Sound like the kind of home I’d want to be in.

Jill Donaldson

A practising aged care physiotherapist for the past 13 years, Jill has worked in more than 50 metropolitan and regional aged care homes. She has also toured care facilities across the US and Africa. She is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff that serve them.

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