Seniors experience physical, mental, and emotional benefits through mindful meditation exercises.
Aging gracefully is a goal for many people, but the reality is that getting older comes with its share of hardships. Many elderly individuals may find it harder to take care of themselves as they age. They become prone to memory issues, aches, and mood swings and struggle to find balance and peace in everyday life.
These are among the reasons why guided meditation for seniors is a growing practice, particularly as its benefits are becoming better known. Mindfulness meditation focuses on relaxation techniques, deep breathing, and intentional focus on the here and now, offering a number of positive physical, mental, and emotional benefits to elderly patients, including the following:
Meditation has a calming effect on older adults. In a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, researchers discovered that even a small meditation session is effective in reducing stress. Deep breathing exercises can help improve circulation and oxygen in the blood, helping seniors to organize their thoughts and gain clarity of mind.
Easing Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can have a devastating effect on physical and mental well-being, and it’s an ailment that’s more common in the elderly. Meditation for seniors has shown promising benefits in overcoming the anguish caused by pain. Feelings of calmness can help to alleviate pain in the body and the mind.
In fact, data published in Psychology Today stated that mindful meditation could reduce pain by 57% in chronic pain sufferers and as much as 90% in individuals who are expert meditators.
Reducing Feelings of Isolation
Arguably, one of the most surprising benefits of meditation for elderly patients is its ability to reduce feelings of loneliness or isolation. In one study conducted by UCLA, researchers documented the effects of a 30-day mindful meditation practice that taught participants to focus on the present versus dwelling on the past or fearing the future. During the study, feelings of loneliness among the participants dropped significantly.
Going through mindful meditation exercises with an in-home caregiver can also help elderly patients feel more connected with others because they’re in the company of another person.
Slowing the Progression of Memory Issues
Research shows that roughly half of all individuals aged 85 or older have some form of dementia, but despite its prevalence, dementia is not a normal part of aging. Dementia affects memory and cognition and can complicate moods and emotions.
Deep breathing exercises and other mindful meditation techniques have been shown to help slow down dementia and related diseases. The idea is that mindfulness and relaxation can help the individual to better handle their feelings, moods, and general stress.
One review of more than 12 studies involving elderly patients found that meditation can have a positive effect on cognition, memory, attention span, processing speed, and general brain function. It’s also believed that practicing meditation can help preserve cognitive function for longer.
At Tailored Home Care, our caregivers can engage in meditation with your loved one, along with other memory care activities. For more insight on mindful meditation for seniors, check out our latest video or reach out for a consultation with one of our in-home care experts.