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The Benefits of Meditation for Seniors

Mindfulness, coupled with meditation, is all about being in the moment. Through practicing meditation, seniors can maintain full awareness and acceptance of their own thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surroundings. When we are truly mindful, we notice and accept our thoughts on what’s happening around us without immediately reacting to them. One of the biggest benefits of meditation is having the capacity to decipher what deserves our reaction and what doesn’t, as this helps preserve our energy for more positive experiences throughout the day. In this article, our team at Lester Senior Living will discuss more about meditation and the indisputable benefits it has on seniors in our community. 

What is Meditation?

Meditation provides a time of quiet reflection and a short respite from daily cares. This practice uses mindfulness and breathing techniques to focus the mind on a particular thought, object, or activity to help achieve a greater sense of mental clarity and calmness. It can be done as guided meditation with an instructor or alone. We recommend starting with just a few minutes a day and working your way up to 20 or 30 minutes. All you need is a comfortable straight-backed chair, a quiet room and an open mind! 

5 Meditation Benefits for Seniors

The benefits of meditation (in short) are a more focused mind, better memory recollection, improved digestion, enhanced mood and reduced stress. Let’s take a look at these in more detail:

  1. Sharper mind for a better memory: Studies by neuroscientists have confirmed a link between practicing meditation and improvement in memory recollection. Regular meditation increases blood flow to the brain, creating a stronger network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex—the region that deals with learning, concentration and memory. Beneficial effects may be seen in both short-term and long-term memory – which is great news for all of us as we get older! Regular meditation has also been shown to actually change the brain’s physical structure; increasing the areas responsible for personality, self-awareness and planning increase while shrinking the region associated with negative emotion or anxiety. This leads to enhanced creativity, improved focus and cognitive function. 
  2. Slowing down dementia’s progression: In line with boosting memory and improving cognition, meditation and breathing exercises can also slow down dementia-related conditions. Meditation could also help seniors deal with the anxiety or depression that may accompany memory loss. At Lester Senior Living, residents in our independent and assisted living residences, as well as our Memory Care Suite, enjoy weekly balance and mindfulness classes to help them enhance their mental health, mobility and memory. 
  3. Improving digestion: Meditation includes deep breathing exercises, and with practice deep breathing starts to occur naturally as the person becomes more relaxed and focused. This deeper breathing that comes with meditation improves circulation, thereby increasing oxygen levels in the blood which can aid in digestion. 
  4. Enhancing mood: As we age, many of us find our moods change unexpectedly. Adversely, changes in lifestyle or personal loss may have an effect on older adults’ moods. Since meditation focuses on mindfulness—that non-judgmental acceptance of the moment—the practice can help us observe and accept emotions rather than react to them. 
  5. Promoting relaxation and an overall sense of calmness: Think of meditation as a chance to take a break from daily life, make time to connect to yourself, organize your thoughts, and take a lot of cleansing deep breaths that have a relaxing, calming effect.

Meditation Classes and More at Lester Senior Living in NJ

As we mentioned above, residents at Lester Senior Living enjoy “Balance and Mindfulness” classes on a weekly basis. In addition, we also have yoga, Zumba and stretching classes, or the option to work out in our fitness center on their own time. Excitingly enough, we are also in the middle of renovating our 2nd floor to expand our state-of-the-art fitness center! With this renovation, we look forward to offering our assisted living and independent living residents even more options to improve their physical health in the New Year! 

For more information about fitness and activity classes at our senior living community in Morris County, please visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org