While there’s no cure for dementia, activities like meditation for dementia patients can enhance a person’s quality of life by improving the state of their brain health.
The Benefits of Mindful Meditation
One of the biggest advantages of meditation is that it alleviates many symptoms linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease and increases brainpower. Stress relief, curbed feelings of depression, and increased mental clarity/focus are just a few of the positive effects.
Sharpens The Mind
Mindful meditation builds cognitive reserve (your brain’s ability to be resilient and resourceful enough to perform tasks). It also positively impacts the hippocampus (an area of the brain that affects learning ability and memory).
Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Chronic stress has adverse effects on the hippocampus and stress-reducing meditation exercises can be helpful. The stress hormone known as cortisol serves as a neurotransmitter that controls chemical communications in your brain. Too much cortisol can cause a breakdown in chemical signaling, leading to heightened memory loss and other mental health issues. Mindful meditation has proven to be an effective way to reduce your cortisol levels.
Curbs Loneliness & Depression
Stress can worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with dementia, but new research shows that meditation may effectively alleviate these symptoms. In a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers found that participants who practiced mindful meditation showed fewer depressive symptoms. In addition, patients also reported an improvement in their mental health.
Positively Alters Brain Activity
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition that many dementia patients experience after seeing signs of age-related cognitive decline. In many cases, it eventually transitions into dementia. MCI onsets the beginning stages of memory loss and fuzzy thinking. According to a study by Wake Forest Baptist Health, mindful meditation can make it easier to cope with the effects of MCI.
Supports Mood Regulation
Patients with dementia frequently experience fear, anxiety, and agitation. Unfortunately, doctors often misdiagnose patients undergoing this type of stress as having a “mood disorder.” Meditation can help reduce the level of these negative emotions and increase the number of positive feelings.
Meditate Anywhere, Anytime
Meditation offers so much versatility in terms of how, where, and when it can be practiced. Various types of meditation can be performed at a gym or in the comfort of your own home—from mindful meditation to guided relaxation. Whether you or your loved one is an early bird or a night owl, any time is an appropriate time to meditate—even in the middle of the day. This activity can either be an individual or group activity. Dementia patients and their caregivers can even enjoy meditation exercises in pairs.
Have Questions About Meditation For Dementia Patients?
Contact us if you have questions regarding the benefits of meditation for memory loss illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s. We’re happy to provide you with all the guidance you need.