Science has shown countless benefits of mediation for older adults. Lower blood pressure, heart rate, and a multitude of other measurable effects, all which interweave with one another to end up at the bottom line: regular meditation can improve seniors’ physical and mental health – and feel immeasurably better.
Older adults often experience an array of digestive troubles due to medical conditions, medications or other causes. Meditation can reduce digestive troubles, which not only promotes better comfort, but supports a better nutritional status as well.
Promote Relaxation and Calm
Meditation can reduce stress hormones that lead to frantic feelings and overreactions. It’s been shown to promote relaxation, and feelings of calm and peace. All of this contributes to clearer, more organized thoughts and a greater sense of well-being.
Better Mood and Emotional Management
Seniors sometimes experience more than their fair share of challenging times, losses and grief. Meditation helps promote positive moods, peaceful emotions and feelings of acceptance, which can greatly impact a senior’s quality of life.
Sharpen Mental Alertness and Memory
Meditation has been shown to noticeably sharpen the mind. In fact, regular meditation results in physical changes to the brain, actually shrinking areas that process stress, worry and anxiety. At the same time, planning, personality and self-awareness areas grow in size. Regular meditators have been shown to enjoy better long and short term memory, greater creativity, improved cognitive abilities and sharper focus.
Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia
The benefits of meditation for seniors with dementia are profound. Meditation and breathing exercises have been shown to slow the progression of dementia symptoms, including memory loss, confusion and emotional difficulties. Furthermore, anxiety, stress and depression often occur in seniors with dementia, and can worsen dementia’s symptoms. Because meditation reduces stress, anxiety and depression, it enables seniors with dementia to think and function at a higher level, in addition to feeling better.
How to Begin Meditating
Meditating doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing. Simply sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor for 10-20 minutes. During this time, take deep, slow breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Mentally scan your body for areas of tension or discomfort, and continue to breathe deeply. Counting breaths can help your mind focus on breathing. When wayward thoughts arise – which they will – simply notice that your attention has drifted and gently bring it back to your breath. Meditate a few days per week, working up to a daily practice, if desired.
Elder Care can Support Meditation and Other Healthy Habits
Some seniors find it more motivating, or easier to develop a new habit, if they join a class or engage in meditation along with others. Many seniors have found elder care services to be a big help in this regard. When people think of elder care, they envision aides helping with personal care, housework or meal preparation. Elder care aides can indeed help with all of these areas, but because their services are so customizable, they can easily be used to support a budding meditation practice as well. An elder care aide can drive a senior to a meditation class, or incorporate a meditation session with a morning visit or bedtime routine as well.
If you are considering elder care in West Memorial, TX, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
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