Cognitive decline is one of the issues some senior citizens face. Stress is another. Research shows that meditation helps ease both stress and cognitive decline. Is it a technique your parent should learn? It is easy to learn and may have benefits that really help seniors stay healthy.
Meditation is a practice that’s thousands of years old. A 2015 study found that just 12 minutes a day improved memory in people who were showing signs of cognitive decline. The same 12 minutes also helped family caregivers who were feeling stressed. Meditation also seemed to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Getting Started With Meditation.
Your parent doesn’t need special equipment in order to meditate. A comfortable area to sit where it’s quiet is all that’s really necessary. Some people prefer lying down when meditating. The choice is your parent’s.
From a comfortable position, your mom or dad wants to close their eyes. Focus moves to breathing. Your parent should continue to breathe and focus on each breath in and out. With each exhalation, your parent’s mind should focus only on the movement of the body. The same with every inhalation. All other thoughts should go quiet.
It can take practice to quiet the mind. As other thoughts try to interrupt the focus on breathing, your parent needs to get the brain to switch back to focusing on each breath. Continue this for up to 30 minutes.
Some people find it easier to meditate to sounds like the ocean, a babbling brook, or birds in the forest. Go for soothing noises. If your mom or dad feels relaxed at the beach, sounds of the surf are great for meditation.
Reduce Stress in Other Ways.
Meditation will do wonders for helping ease stress. You can also help your parent avoid stress by arranging help around the house. What stresses your mom or dad? Does your mom worry about cutting herself while chopping foods before dinner? Has she turned to packaged foods to avoid having to chop items? Does your dad dread going down the basement stairs with a heavy laundry basket? Has he fallen?
To ease stress around the home, hire a caregiver. Home care professionals can help do the laundry and make the bed. Caregivers can cook meals and vacuum the carpet. Home care services also provide companionship, which also eases stress and allows your parent to age at home.
If you or an aging family member are considering professional home care in Bellmore, NY, please call the caring staff at A Gentle Touch Senior Home and Health Care at 631-647-7622 today.