Meditation And Assisted Living May Help Ease Loneliness In Seniors

There are numerous reasons why someone might feel assisted living in Vancouver WA would be the right choice.  Sometimes the decision to choose assisted living or some other senior housing setting may be due to memory issues or health issues.  Sometimes the decision may be due to loneliness.  Or perhaps you just want to “downsize” and let the burdens of managing a home fall on someone else so you can take advantage of activities you still enjoy.

If your reason for considering some sort of assisted living in Vancouver WA or assisted living in Clark County is due to loneliness, there may be a different solution to try first.

Turns out learning to meditate might help ease feelings of loneliness among seniors according to University of California, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University researchers.

The participants were mostly women between the ages of 55 and 85.  They enrolled in an eight-week program of “mindfulness-based stress reduction.”  Randomly selected, some were assigned to a meditation group and another group that didn’t meditate.  Those who did meditate attended a weekly two-hour session consisting of mindfulness meditation exercises, yoga, stretching and discussions.  They also attended a daylong retreat and were given homework to spend 30 minutes a day meditating at home.

An added bonus is that meditation seems to also reduce inflammation in the body, which may decrease the risk of serious diseases according to the test results from the meditating group.  The tests showed a significant decline in the expression of inflammation-related genes.

Earlier studies found that loneliness can increase the risks of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and premature death, but this is the first study to show that meditation could both decrease loneliness and reduce inflammation.

Meditation doesn’t mean you have to sit on the floor in “lotus” position with your fingers in an awkward position.  Meditation can be done anywhere, sitting or even walking, to music or not.  There are many different forms of meditation.  Prayer can even be considered a form of meditation.  It might be something to consider.

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