It is a fact that many elderly people end spending the final years of their lives on their own. Their partners have passed away and the children have moved on and have become occupied with their own lives, leaving the seniors alone and lonely. For a senior it is more than just living in a quiet house and a lack of companionship them.
As time goes on, living on one’s own does not just have an effect mentally, but can have severe physical consequences.
Feeling lonely is now being associated with a larger risk of cardiovascular problems, Alzheimer’s or Dementia, depression, and sadly enough premature death. Researchers at UCLA have found that a straightforward meditation program in as short as 8 weeks have decreased loneliness in seniors.
Additionally, understanding that being lonely is linked to a rise in the activity of inflammation-related genes that can stimulate a range of different diseases, the team analyzed gene expression and discovered that this same type of meditation considerably decreased expression of inflammatory genes. In the study, published online in the journal “Brain, Behavior and Immunity”, Steve Cole, a UCLA professor of medicine and psychiatry and a member of the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA, and team reveal that the eight-week program of mindfulness-based reduction (MBSR), which teaches the mind to simply be attentive to the present and not dwell in the past or project into the future, effectively decreased the feelings of loneliness.
This is great news for seniors!
There has actually been several hundred studies that show a wide variety of health benefits from meditation practice. In the short-term, daily meditation practice have benefits physically, psychologically, and one’s sociological well-being. In the long-term, meditation practice has been associated with producing changes in the brain’s structure. MRI’s have shown that regions associated with attention and sensory processing were more active than in those who did not practice meditation.
Major Benefits For Seniors:
Improved mental and physical wellness: decreasing levels of stress and tension, decline in hospitalizations or needs for out-patient medical care, decreased rates of diseases, improvement in cardiovascular health, reduced complaints of physical ailments, enhanced energy, strength and overall feelings of well-being, improved sleep quality, decreased pain levels, feeling younger, and increased longevity.
Improved cognitive functioning: improved intelligence, better & more creativity, enhanced learning abilities, improved memory, improved reaction times, greater orderliness of brain functioning and improvements in self-actualization.
Improved social behavior: improved self-confidence, decreased anxiety, improved family life, and improvement in interpersonal relationships.
Leave a reply →
*At Wholesome Living Care Homes meditation is encouraged and practiced by our resident family members!