Meditation is something that anyone can decide to do, at any time, and in any place, regardless of most mobility or health restrictions.
Thinking about developing a meditation practice can be a little intimidating if you are new to the idea, but there are many scientifically-proven ways that meditation can help your loved one, even while receiving senior care in the comfort of their own home.
How can it help your senior?
Reduction of stress.
One of the biggest reasons that people begin a meditation practice is to combat mental and physical stress, which is caused by an increase in the body’s production of the hormone cortisol. When this happens, one of the harmful effects of stress is the release of inflammation-producing chemicals in the body which can promote anxiety and contribute to clouded thinking, among other things. In one study, mindfulness meditation reduced the inflammation response caused by stress, and in another, nearly 1,300 adults were able to demonstrate that meditation may decrease stress levels, especially in people with the highest amounts of stress in their lives. Research has shown that meditation may even relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
May reduce age-related memory loss.
Seniors receiving senior care may already show signs of memory loss with increased age, but meditation has been shown to help combat the effects.
A review of 12 studies showed that multiple meditation styles were able to increase memory and mental speed as well as attention in older volunteers. It can help to fight the normal age-related memory loss as well as possibly improve, at least partially, memory in people with dementia.
Helps control pain.
Seniors may be receiving treatment or taking medications for pain caused by a variety of ailments and diseases that are more common with increased age.
Research has shown that meditation practice might also help improve symptoms of stress-caused ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia, and a study found that the effects of habitual meditation in 3,500 people was associated with decreased complaints of intermittent or chronic pain.
Deep relaxation meditation techniques have been shown to increase sleep time, improve sleep quality, and even make it easier to fall and stay asleep. It can also be used with other sleep techniques and there are no associated side effects.
How to get started.
There really is no right or wrong way to meditate, but there are some ways that are helpful if this is something new to you or to your loved one receiving senior care.
Start by creating a quiet and relaxed environment free of distractions. Turn off the TV and any electronics, and keep pets and people out of the area. The goal is to free the mind of specific thoughts and just be still in the moment.
Helpful tip: If meditation is tricky for you or your senior, try one of the many guided meditation audio tracks that can be found on YouTube or your music carrier of choice for free!
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN WILSON, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.