The benefits of meditation, for both the mind and body, are becoming more widespread, particularly in regards to “mindfulness” meditation. With this particular meditation style, the practitioner simply sits and focuses on breathing. Any thoughts that arise are acknowledged and then dismissed. A typical session lasts 15 to 30 minutes, and most practitioners meditate daily.
Although meditation can benefit individuals of all ages, researchers cite health benefits are greatest for seniors and older adults. The trusted Centennial senior home care provider, Home Care Assistance, shares some benefits enjoyed by seniors who meditate regularly.
- Improves Cognitive Function – Numerous studies have shown that regularly practicing mindfulness meditation can have a profound positive effect on cognition. One study, conducted at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, found after only four meditation training sessions, scores on a cognitive function test significantly improved.
- Minimizes incidences of depression. The senior population is at the highest risk of developing depression, and when left untreated, can have a debilitating effect on quality of life and general health. A meta-analysis published in The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that mindfulness meditation works just as well as medications for treating depression, without the risk of significant side effects. Meditation also reduced anxiety, stress levels, and chronic pain levels.
- Boosts the immune system. Meditation has been shown to boost the immune system, particularly increasing survival rates for those diagnosed with cancer. Researchers have found this effect goes far beyond any impact on mood, but can be attributed to meditation’s direct effect on the body. The practice even causes telomeres, markers of accelerated aging, to elongate resulting in longer lifespans.
- Relieves loneliness. Seniors are particularly prone to experiencing feelings of isolation and loneliness; two things that have been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and premature death. Seniors who meditate experience fewer feelings of loneliness and also have fewer biomarkers of inflammation, indicating improved overall health.
At Home Care Assistance of Centennial, our revolutionary Balanced Care Method focuses on holistic health, meeting the physical needs of seniors, while promoting a healthy mind and spirit, and we encourage our clients to give meditation a try. You may be surprised by the results!
For more information about emotional health and senior wellness, reach out to a friendly and experienced Care Manager at 303-957-3100. We are a trusted, local provider of home care, offering live-in and hourly care Centennial families trust. Reach out to us today. We’re here to help.