Meditation: Health Benefits for the Elderly

Meditation is a low-energy, high-results exercise with a history of thousands of years. This exercise is proven to be especially beneficial for the elderly. Seniors may be home-bound, in nursing homes or at long-term facilities. The practice of mindfulness through meditation may help them cope with their loneliness, emotions, and can benefit their health.

Meditation is all about inner peace. You can sit or lie down in a quiet place. Meditation asks you to concentrate on your breathing or to repeat a word or mantra. The point of this exercise is to free your thoughts and navigate them without judgement. Let’s get into the science-based reasons why this is good for your health.


Studies have shown that meditation can slow the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. The exercise reduces the stress hormone called cortisol, which is known to increase the risk of dementia. Meditation can also increase protective tissues in the brain. One study found that the brains of people who meditated were 7 years younger than their actual age.


Researchers discovered that regular meditation can increase grey matter in your brain, specifincally your precuneus. The precuneus is located in the front section of the brain.  A team of researchers in Japan scanned brains of  people, and those who scored happier in the survey had a larger precuneus.


A study shows that meditation can alleviate symptoms of gut disorders. Specifically, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or irritable bowel disease (IBD). People reported that their symptoms reduced after two months of meditation. The research suggests that the reduction of stress can suppress certain genes that cause problems.


Meditation has shown to not only help treat physiological issues but also autoimmune diseases. One study found that meditation helped reduce anxiety, depression and hostility.  

Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at 3,500 people with anxiety or depression. It found that meditation helped improve their mood in eight weeks.

“Meditation is a tremendous way to alleviate stress and enhance your body.  We are always looking for reliable ways to help the elderly live happily and independently,” said Andy Cruz, Vice President of Pride PHC. “However, meditation should not replace your visits to your doctor.  Make sure to listen to your doctor’s recommendations about your health and take your prescribed medications.”


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