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Is Meditation the Key to Managing Stress in the Senior Years?

Managing stress can be difficult regardless of a person’s age, but it is often tougher for the elderly. Stress can continue well after retirement because seniors are concerned about things like finances and their health. If your senior loved one is experiencing stress, it’s important for him or her to find an effective method for alleviating it. Toronto at-home care experts have noticed many seniors turning to meditation for this purpose, and here are a few reasons why your loved one might want to join those numbers.

Meditation Combats the Physical Effects of Stress

Studies show meditation reverses the body’s stress response, which can protect your loved one from the harmful effects of chronic stress. When your loved one meditates, his or her breathing automatically slows and blood pressure decreases. The body produces less of the stress hormone cortisol and immune system function increases. Meditation may even help the brain age at a slower rate.

Meditation Makes Seniors More Mindful

When meditating, your loved one may become more aware of his or her emotions and patterns of behavior and how he or she responds to stressful situations. For example, meditation can help your loved one become conscious of the fact he or she tends to blow situations out of proportion. By becoming aware of internal thought processes and tendencies, your loved one is in a better position to change them.

Meditation Has No Side Effects

Prescription medications for anxiety can carry side effects like sedation, which can be particularly dangerous for the elderly. Even supposedly benign herbal remedies may interact with medications or exacerbate other health conditions. Meditation has no physical side effects, costs nothing, and can be practiced by anyone regardless of physical abilities.

Meditation Creates Feelings of Happiness

Meditation activates the prefrontal cortex, also known as the “feel-good” center of the brain. When the prefrontal cortex is stimulated, your loved one can experience increased feelings of happiness. This can help alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and anger, allowing your loved one to enjoy a renewed zest for life.

Meditation Focuses on the Present

Stress often comes from worrying about what has happened in the past or concerns about the unknown future. Your loved one may spend hours wallowing in anger over old grudges or become set up for disappointment when his or her plans for the future don’t turn out as expected. Meditation involves focusing on the here and now. The practice involves facing each moment as it comes and then letting it go so the next moment can be experienced.

Seniors receiving the Alzheimer’s, stroke, or Parkinson’s care Toronto families trust may find meditation especially beneficial. Studies have shown meditating can have a significant impact on those who have these and many other serious conditions. For other senior stress management solutions, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to help your loved one lead a happier and more comfortable life. For more information on our elderly care services, call a Care Manager at (416) 488-8777 today.