Mindful Aging: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation Practices

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Since the benefits of regular meditation are so great, an increasing number of seniors are becoming interested in the practice. As with any new activity, meditating may seem daunting at first, but it’s actually quite simple, and anyone can do it. Here are a few tips to help your senior loved one get started. 

 

Find a Quiet Place

Look for a room or setting where there isn’t much going on. Some street noise or chatter is fine, but it’s easier to start meditating in a quiet setting.

 

Seek a Comfortable Position

Meditation can be done lying on a mat, sitting on a cushion on the floor, or sitting in a chair. Choose the most comfortable position, or have a family member or caregiver find the best position. It can help to have a bit of support during the first few meditating sessions.

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Set a Timer

Beginning meditators often get anxious when they don’t know how long to sit, so a timer can help. Find one with a soft or calming alarm. It’s best to set it for 5 minutes at first and progressively add 5 more minutes as the practice becomes more comfortable.

 

Assume a Meditation Position

Practitioners should face forward with eyes closed. Feet should be flat if seated or outstretched if on the floor. Palms should be open to the sky. If seated, it’s recommended to sit tall with the stomach tucked. There’s no need to be absolutely erect when meditating. The goal is to assume a pose that’s awake and alert, but this will be different for everyone depending on the limits of the body.

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Focus on Breathing

The practitioner should breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Take 3 slow breaths, and focus the mind on each one.

 

Observe Thoughts

Thoughts, worries, fears, and daydreams will inevitably come to the front of the mind. Never try to push them away. Instead, simply say hello to each one, acknowledge it, and go back to focusing on the breathing.

 

End the Session

When the alarm goes off, wiggle the fingers and toes and open the eyes. Slowly, the focus should be brought back to the surroundings.

 

Set Up a Meditation Schedule

To be a regular practitioner, a meditation schedule should be created. Start slowly at 5 minutes twice a day and increase the meditation time by 5 minutes every 2 weeks.

Helping a loved one practice meditation can be difficult, especially for family caregivers who have other tasks to tend to. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional home care Frederick seniors can trust and rely on. Reach out to us at Assisting Hands Home Care if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.