A type of meditation, mindfulness is the practice of promoting relaxation and an increased awareness of thoughts and the immediate environment in a way that enhances mental focus and clarity. It’s a technique that can be adopted by people of all ages, including seniors. While the mind-body perks associated with mindfulness are sometimes considered subjective, there are some well-documented benefits associated with this practice that can be good for older adults.
The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology refers to a study showing decreased mortality rates among seniors who practice mindfulness and similar meditation techniques. A National Institutes of Health study suggests a reduction in cellular aging may also contribute to longer lives for seniors who meditate.
A UCLA study found seniors who participated in a two-month meditation program reported fewer instances of feeling lonely. Researchers speculate such results may be related to reduced inflammation, which is a factor associated with loneliness, that results from being in a more relaxed state.
A home caregiver can be a wonderful source of companionship, support, and encouragement for your loved one. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Palm Desert, CA, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
Mutual Relaxation for Seniors & Caregivers
Mindfulness is typically considered a solo activity, but it’s also something seniors can do with family caregivers to mentally relax and refresh together. In fact, a different UCLA study found caregivers may be able to keep caregiver stress in check by meditating, which is another reason to get “mindful” with a senior loved one.
Slower Dementia Progression
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston performed a double-blind study and concluded meditation may slow the progression of some forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. This may be the case, according to the study’s authors, because meditation protects the brain from excess stress and anxiety.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, 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 service. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans 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.
The Journal of Social Behavior and Personality points to research showing seniors who meditate regularly spend less time in the hospital. Spending less time in the hospital can also reduce healthcare costs for older adults.
Healthline.com refers to a study involving nearly 20 volunteers who practiced meditation for three years. Researchers noted participants had decreased levels of inflammatory chemicals produced in response to anxiety and stress, which can contribute to enhanced mood in seniors.
Increased Pain Management
The techniques involved with mindfulness help seniors develop better focus on what they’re feeling and experiencing, which extends to how pain is interpreted. The National Institutes of Health cites a study showing people with chronic pain practicing this type of meditation reported decreases in their levels of discomfort.
Reduced Reliance on Medication
Multiple studies suggest meditation that promotes mindfulness boosts relaxation, which lowers stress. Since stress is a factor that often contributes to pain, seniors may be able to reduce their reliance on pain medication by practicing mindfulness.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly home care. Palm Desert, CA, 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. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (760) 345-0001.