Every year, many seniors are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and the long-term effects can be heartbreaking for families. Thankfully, experts are continuously researching ways to delay or even reverse the onset of these diseases. One recent study shows mindful meditation may make a huge difference in delaying the onset of cognitive impairment. Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care in Grand Rapids, elaborates on the importance of mediation and offers tips for seniors who haven’t tried the quiet practice before.
Mindful Meditation Research
If you provide in-home Alzheimer’s care in Grand Rapids, you’ll be interested to know recent research shows a mere 15 minutes of mindful meditation each day can slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The study involved adults ages 55 to 90 doing 15 to 30 minutes of daily, guided meditation for eight weeks. At the end of the eight weeks, MRIs showed improved function in the area of the brain that is continuously at work. Meditation also helped delay the reduction of the hippocampus, the primary area of the brain that controls memory and often shrinks with dementia. Adults in the study also showed overall improvement in wellbeing and cognition.
Mindful Meditation Tips for Seniors
- Seniors should pick a time of day when they can completely relax and should avoid trying to meditate at stressful or painful times. For instance, if your senior loved one has joint pain in the morning hours, meditating later in the day is a better idea.
- Do a few light stretches prior to meditating. This activity will loosen tight muscles and joints, increase circulation in the body, and help seniors relax while meditating.
- Pick a peaceful setting with a comfortable place to sit to meditate in. Many people who regularly mediate do so in the same spot. Some people sit on a pillow on the floor while others head outdoors when weather permits. Meditating in the same place will help train the brain.
- Don’t push too much in the beginning. Meditation should be a relaxing experience. Your senior loved one can start a 5-minute meditation and work up to 30 minutes by adding 5 minutes each week.
It’s never too early to reap the benefits of mindful mediation. If your senior loved one isn’t sure about the practice, offer to do it will him or her. There are also videos, playlists, and apps designed to aid mediation, which can be helpful for people new to the practice.
Another way to help your senior loved one stay mentally sharp is with a caregiver trained in Home Care Assistance’s proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method. Our exclusive, activities-based program is designed to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Learn more about the Cognitive Therapeutics Method or schedule your free in-home consultation by calling (616) 243-0835 to speak with a knowledgeable Care Manager.