Meditation might be considered a good way to calm oneself, but many would not describe it as a healthcare practice.
Well, contrary to belief, a plethora of senior citizens are adopting meditative practices into their health care routine. Whether it be to fight degenerative brain diseases, increase mental wellness, or simply to spend time practicing presence, they are finding that meditation is helping make the most of their golden years!
For those looking to bolster their mindfulness, the following will explore some of the major benefits of meditation for seniors.
Meditation Can Help Fight the Onslaught of Alzheimer’s
There is nothing more pressing to elderly individuals than the issue of Alzheimer’s and dementia. There are entire families, communities, and home care agencies that are dedicated to this cause. Yet, through meditation, it is believed that senior citizens might be able to protect their minds from this disease.
According to research conducted by the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health “meditation changes brain wave patterns” in order to “improve physiological functions important to health.” Through practicing regular bouts of mindfulness, it is believed that patients can strengthen their brain, engage in productive cerebral activity, and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
An Increase in Mindfulness Can Cause A Decrease in Stress
A major benefit of practicing meditation therapy for seniors is the correlating decrease in stress. Many scientists believe that adopting a meditation practice in older age can help quell the negative side effects that occur because of stress.
According to neuropsychologist Jean Legenfelder of the Kessler Foundation “meditation has been shown to decrease stress levels and have a calming effect in older adults.” She believes that this “can help them organize their thinking and give them a clearer perspective. They have improved focus, and their mind is sharp.”
Meditative Therapy Can Help Fight Loneliness
One of the greatest assets of meditation is the ability to fight feelings of loneliness. This asset is imperative to the elderly community. Ask any of the certified nursing assistants and they will tell you, one of the major problems afflicting the elderly is loneliness. Friends pass away, loved ones have moved, or the passage of time creates a sense of solitude.
Through meditation, seniors are able to emotionally deal with these feelings of melancholy. A 2012 study conducted by Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found a correlation between decreased feelings of loneliness and meditation. After an eight week mindfulness routine, senior citizens reported that their feelings of solitude had drastically subsided.