The Role of Mindfulness in Aged Care

Mindfulness has become a priority for everyone. The benefits of pausing and reflecting has a great impact on our physical and mental state. It’s no different when we enter aged care, and many of us even increase this practice. If you’re looking to establish some mindful habits for yourself or an elderly loved one, let’s learn what role this plays and why it is worth pursuing in an aged care community.

Promoting awareness and appreciation

There is so much engagement and fun that comes from community care, although without a regular outlet to take pause, the days can start and end without reflection. Being mindful promotes awareness and appreciation of the community that surrounds you or your loved one, and can help you move into a more positive state of mind. Getting in touch with yourself and being thankful for small and large events in your day will build a perspective that can sometimes be lost in the daily grind.

Encouraging physical strength

Gratitude plays a large role in the mindful movement, but research has proven that it can also improve physical health. A 2012 study split a group of individuals with the same health condition, with one group reporting daily on what they are grateful for, and the second group reporting on their grievances. At the conclusion of the study, the ‘grateful group’ reported far fewer health implications and pain than the ‘grieved group’ who had many more complaints and reports of pain. Taking the time to be mindful and grateful, may help you cope better with physical challenges, and strength may be easier to draw on.

It builds resilience

It doesn’t matter how old you are or who you are, circumstances do not discriminate. At one point or another in life, we find ourselves in challenging situations, with some of us not possessing the tools to cope. Resilience is a characteristic many of us strive towards, united in a desire to possess a strong mental mindset. The value of prioritizing mindfulness now is that it establishes a foundation for you or your loved one to draw upon when the time comes, such as ahead of a surgery or doctors’ appointments. It could be as simple as 30 minutes a day of quiet time, or visualization work that has you accepting and preparing for the future in a calm and balanced way.

Spirituality and connection

Many people draw on their faith, and this something that community aged care helps to cater for. Mindfulness for some people can be seen as a spiritual act and one that can be connected to religious practices. In can also be a shared activity with your family, carers or community peers who also share the need for quiet reflection and prayer. Spirituality and connection play a large role in many aged care communities, especially if congregation attendance was a core part of life before entering aged care.

Mindfulness has a role to play in aged care. Approaching each day with a mindful mentality will go a long way in building mental and physical strength, and this isn’t something that changes with age.

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