Mindfulness is a type of meditation that focuses on learning how to gain better control over feelings and processes in the body and the mind. The goal is to be “in the moment” in a way that promotes a sense of calm and relaxation. If your senior loved one is new to the concept of mindfulness, here are five reasons it’s something worth considering and practicing on a regular basis.
1. It Could Contribute to a Longer Life
A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests an association between increased longevity and mindfulness. The study found seniors who meditated had a significant decrease in mortality rates when compared to non-meditating older adults. Results from a National Institutes of Health study suggest improvements in cellular aging could further contribute to longer lives for meditating seniors.
2. Mindfulness May Ward Off Loneliness
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be a solitary practice. Seniors can practice this type of meditation with other older adults, family caregivers, and other family members. In fact, a UCLA study found seniors who participated in a two-month meditation program reported feeling less lonely. This is important, since social isolation can contribute to depression and other potentially serious mental health issues for aging adults.
For families living in Amarillo, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
3. Mindful Meditation Could Slow Dementia Progression
A study performed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston looked at the methods often used in mindful meditation. Researchers determined breathing exercises and similar meditation-related practices may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. It’s believed the relaxation and stress relief associated with mindfulness could be the reason for these findings, since stress can worsen dementia-related symptoms. On a related note, a study conducted in Thailand concluded seniors who regularly walked and meditated reported enhancements in mood, which is also beneficial for those with dementia.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, a home caregiver can be a fantastic source of support for your whole family. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
4. It Could Reduce Health-Related Costs for Seniors
Hospitalizations may be reduced for older adults who practice mindful meditation. This is the key takeaway from a study published in the journal Social Behavior and Personality. The study followed meditating and non-meditating groups of older adults for five years. Cumulative payments to physicians by the meditation group during this period were more than 50 percent less than what the non-meditating seniors paid. Mindfulness may also help seniors keep health-related costs in check by:
- Reducing reliance on medication
- Making it easier to manage chronic pain
- Boosting overall health and wellbeing
- Reducing the risk of developing high blood pressure and other issues associated with higher stress levels
5. It Offers Benefits for Both Seniors & Caregivers
As mentioned above, mindful meditation doesn’t have to be done alone. It’s actually something both seniors and family caregivers can enjoy and benefit from together. For caregivers, a different UCLA study determined meditation lowers stress levels in people caring for loved ones with dementia. When your loved one is just as relaxed and focused as you are because of the results of mindful meditation, everyone benefits.
Practicing mindfulness is just one way aging adults can enhance their overall health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Amarillo, TX, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (806) 803-9991 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.